Waterloo mayor accuses councilman of racist comment - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Waterloo mayor accuses councilman of racist comment

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An eastern Iowa Mayor calls out a city council member for an alleged racist comment.

Waterloo Mayor Quentin Hart called city council member Tom Lind's comment racist and derogatory in an e-mail this week.

An anonymous letter sent to KWWL outlines e-mail conversation between Mayor Hart and Councilman Tom Lind.

When Mayor Hart said he hired Communication Director Wendy Knapp for a part-time position, Lind said it was, "Not appropriate without council approval."

He added, "You work for us, Obama (yesterday) is gone."

Mayor Hart responded, "Your racist, derogatory, partisan threats have no impact on me and never will."

It can be argued whether councilman Lind's comments were racially-motivated, but after digging into the story, this comment seems to be one of more.

We tried reaching out to councilman Lind, and he responded to KWWL anchor Amanda Goodman by e-mail.

He stated, "Mayor Hart probably regrets his terrible mistake, hasty and clumsy reply. I think he said something the he simply did not mean.

But, Waterloo Mayor Hart said that wasn't the case, "Any e-mail is public information. My e-mails are my e-mails. I'm an open book. So, I stick by what I said."

Mayor Hart says the derogatory comments in the e-mail take away from Waterloo moving forward as the fastest-growing city in the state.

"That type of conversation of focusing on (President) Obama for whatever reasons they want to explain has nothing to do with progress, and I'm going to call that out. I'm going to continue to move forward, and continue to focus on the people of this city," Mayor Hart said.

Councilman Jerome Amos Jr. said he wasn't surprised by the comment, and he added he's heard worse from Councilmen Lind and Steve Schmitt before.

"The first comment was, 'this is like a reverse Oreo cookie. I sit in between Councilman Schmitt and Councilman Lind. So, I'm assuming that's where the reverse-Oreo comment came from," Council Amos said.

We tried reaching out to Councilman Steve Schmitt for comment and have not yet heard back.

Both Mayor Hart and Councilman Amos say they simply want to move forward from this problem. 

According to Mayor Hart, as leader of Waterloo, he had every right to hire Wendy Knapp as the new Communication Director.

We tried confirming that information with the City Attorney, and we have not heard otherwise.

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