By Chris Hoenig
A police commissioner of a popular New Hampshire vacation town is out of a job after calling President Obama the N-word.
Wolfeboro Police Commissioner Bob Copeland resigned on Monday after refusing to for more than a week step down, despite calls from local officials, residents and even former Presidential candidate and Obama opponent Mitt Romney.
“The vile epithet used and confirmed by the commissioner has no place in our community,” Romney, who owns a vacation home in the town along the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee, told the Boston Herald. “He should apologize and resign.”
Copeland was reportedly overheard calling the President a “f—ing n—–” in March at a local restaurant. He not only admitted saying it, but stood by his comments.
“I believe I did use the N-word in reference to the current occupant of the White House,” Copeland wrote in an email to his fellow commissioners. “For this, I do not apologize—he meets and exceeds my criteria for such.”
The 82-year-old was elected to his second three-year term on the three-person Board of Commissioners in March, but could not be removed from office unless he resigned. The board hires, fires and sets the salaries for the town’s police officers.
All of the town’s 12 full-time officers are white.
More than 100 residents jammed a town meeting last week, most calling for Copeland’s resignation. “Comments like these, especially coming from a public official, are not only inexcusable but also terribly, unfortunately reflect poorly on our town,” said Jane O’Toole, the town resident who overheard Copeland’s comments and notified Town Manager David Owen.
At that meeting, Commissioner Ron Goodgame and Commission Chairman Joseph Balboni Jr. said they did not plan to ask Copeland to resign, despite having only two residents speak out in support of the commissioner.
“All this man did was express his displeasure with the man who’s in office,” Frank Bader, one of those two residents, said.
New Hampshire is roughly 94 percent white and 1 percent Black. Out of Wolfeboro’s 6,300 residents, only about 20 are Black.