An official with a publicly funded land bank in Flint, Michigan, blamed the city's water crisis on "f*cking n*****s" who fail to pay their bills.
Audio recordings made by an environmental activist appear to show Phil Stair, sales manager for the Genesee County Land Bank, using racial slurs and blaming poor residents for rising water costs, reported Truth Against The Machine.
"Flint has the same problems as Detroit -- f*cking n*****s don’t pay their bills," Stair says on the recording, which was made May 26 during a conversation with environmental activist and independent journalist Chelsea Lyons.
Stair was driving to a restaurant with Lyons and another person when the recordings were made, according to the blog.
"I don’t want to call them n*****s, sh*t I just went to Myrtle Beach (with) 24 guys, and I was the only white guy," Stair said. "I got friends -- I mean, there’s trash and there’s people that do this sh*t. They just don’t pay their bills. Well, Detroit, didn’t collect on their bills, so they charged everybody else, but Flint, Flint had to pay their bill to Detroit."
Stair is a government employee through the land bank, which is described on its website as a "non-profit government organization."
He claimed the city, which is 56 percent black, was forced to begin using contaminated water from the Flint River after Detroit raised prices to account for its own unpaid water bills.
Emails show Detroit offered significant price reductions to Flint in hopes of keeping its largest water customer, after an emergency manager appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder decided to switch Flint over to its own water supply.
Flint officials also pulled millions of dollars from the city's water and sewage fund to its insolvent general fund.
Stair told the activist and reporter that he was the land bank's first employee, and he claimed he was personally hired by now-Rep. Dan Kildee (D-MI), who was then Genesee County treasurer.
Kildee responded to the report about Stair's recorded statements by calling for his immediate removal.
This behavior is awful and indefensible. Phil Stair should be fired or resign immediately. https://t.co/A7R6QjzlEP— Rep. Dan Kildee (@Rep. Dan Kildee)1496623631.0
Stair resigned from his post Monday, after reports circulated about the recordings.