Westbrook official apologizes for profane email rant | News

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Westbrook official apologizes for profane email rant

WESTBROOK, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The Westbrook assistant city administrator apologized Tuesday for an email sent in February where he called a community art project the "dumbest f---ing idea" he had ever heard.

In an email chain, Westbrook Mayor Colleen Hilton, Assistant City Administrator William Baker, artist Michael Shaughnessy, City Administrator Jerre Bryant and City Planner Molly Just were discussing a sculpture project Shaughnessy was working on for the city's riverwalk. The project was to be birdhouses.

In an email just to Hilton, which was read out loud at a city council meeting Monday, Baker not only expressed his dislike for the project, but other things bothering him. In the email, he started with, "Here is what I wanted to say" and addressed it to the artist, Shaughnessy.

In part, the letter said, "Dear Michael - this is the dumbest f---ing idea I ever heard! I know they say art is in the eye of the beholder, but really, you want to clog up the riverwalk with s---a-- birdhouses that some little a--h--- will vandalize in the first 10 minutes."

He also said people will complain about the money used for it, how the city will be blamed for not maintaining the art and he also complained about the teen center asking for money.

He ended it with, "Maybe you get your head out of your a-- and pretend you give a s--- about important stuff in the world like the fact that the police are disarming some lunatic with a gun on Church Street right now - or ISIS will be chopping off your noggin on the riverwalk before too long

D---- !!!!!!! I guess I need a vacation."

The email was discovered in a freedom of information act request and discussed at Monday's council meeting. In an apology Tuesday, Baker addressed the people of Westbrook, people mentioned in the email, Hilton and the Westbrook City Council.

"This is a self-inflicted wound made possible by my reckless written words for which I am deeply sorry and embarrassed," he wrote in a letter.

He said the email was a "highly inappropriate, but satirical parody" in which he was trying to lighten the mood and vent some frustration. He also called out the "people who publicly denigrate the city" and said if not, "for their perverse joy in reading that email to the city council and sharing it publicly, my harmful words would never have impacted anyone."

He also asked the people of Westbrook for their forgiveness.


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