Posted: Nov 2, 2013 1:07 PM by Victoria Fregoso - MTN News
Updated: Nov 2, 2013 1:07 PM
BILLINGS - An email sent by Max Lenington, the Yellowstone County treasurer, is drawing criticism.
The email, dated November 13, 2012 reads, in part: "It still baffles me as to how he got elected. It must mean there are more lesbians, queers, Indians, Mexicans and n*ggers than the rest of us!"
Lenington said his comment was his reaction to President Barack Obama's re-election.
The email was meant specifically for his sister, but it was sent from his county-issued email address.
When asked by MTN News if he thinks such language is acceptable, Lenington said: "Well, I think the First Amendment guarantees it. Again, I need you to understand that this was a personal email to my sister and it wasn't meant for public (consumption). I don't talk that way in public and I don't talk that way to you."
Eran Thompson, chair of Not in Our Town Billings, a group that promotes tolerance, said that Lenington's comments are disappointing.
Thompson said, "People who say that Max Lenington has a right to free speech, they're absolutely correct. He has a right to free speech but not as a public official. So he can say those hateful things from his rocking chair on his front porch but he can't say them from the county courthouse, the symbol of justice in our community. We won't accept it."
The email was discovered as part of an investigation conducted by a Billings newspaper.