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Mayor forced to resign after text of him calling old black people ‘antique farm equipment’ leaks

March 14, 2019 at 05:00 pm | News

Francis Akhalbey

Francis Akhalbey | Staff Writer

March 14, 2019 at 05:00 pm | News

Shane Bouchard resigned as mayor after racist text scandal -- Screenshot via NEWS CENTER Maine on YouTube

In what may be a case of a love affair gone bad, Republican Shane Bouchard stepped down as mayor of Maine’s second-largest city, Lewiston, on Friday after a woman claiming to have had an affair with him leaked racist and possibly incriminating text messages he sent her.

According to the Sun Journal, the alleged mistress, Heather Berube Everly, made over 150 text messages public including a very condescending and disdainful one against old black people.

“All my jokes are quite racist lol,” he texted before adding, “What do you call 2 old black people sitting on your front lawn.”

“Antique farm equipment,” he answered.

“Yikes,” she replied.

Bouchard apologized on Thursday insisting he is not racist: “I say stupid things and stupid jokes occasionally,” he said.

Ironically, they exchanged those messages in 2017 – some two months before the Maine Examiner released internal emails from his then opponent Ben Chin, who in one of the emails said he had encountered “a bunch of racists” in his campaigns. A section of people took offense with Chin’s statement and it played a contributing factor in him losing to Bouchard, according to the Sun Journal.

In another racially insensitive exchange that was among the ones that were leaked, Bouchard, while telling Everly his schedule referred to a meeting with his colleague Republicans he was set to attend as a “clan meeting” to which Everly replied and said it was not funny.

Bouchard, however, claimed he was joking and was pushed by Everly.

“You can tell from the context of it that it was, you know, a joke. And in poor taste, of course,” he said.

“If you looked at the message, she was pushing me to just tell her any kind of joke and, I don’t know, I just, it came out,” he added. “It is tasteless and it is in no way a reflection of how I feel.”

To add more to his woes, the Lewiston Police Department together with the Maine Attorney General’s Office are investigating Bouchard after his alleged mistress accused him of using his seat as mayor to conduct illegal activities.

“As we look at these issues, we will review the city’s ethics policy and will proceed in a way that is in line with the conventions that govern our great city,” said City Council President Kristen Cloutier in a statement.

Cloutier has also taken over as interim mayor till the elections in November, according to the Associated Press.

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