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Mayor to resign after controversial e-mail

February 27, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
The mayor of a small Southern California city says he will resign after being criticized for sharing an e-mail picture depicting the White House lawn planted with watermelons under the title "No Easter egg hunt this year."Mayor Dean Grose forwarded an e-mail picture depicting the White House with a watermelon patch superimposed in the garden area under the title "No Easter egg hunt this year."

The e-mail was sent from his personal e-mail to a small group of people, but has now generated national attention. In a published report, Grose says he recognizes he made a mistake. He says the attention surrounding the controversial e-mail has created an image of him that is unfortunate and has affected his ability to lead the city.

Keyanus Price, a black businesswoman and community volunteer, was among those who received the e-mail. She said she found it racist and offensive, and sought an apology from Grose.

The mayor sent out another e-mail apologizing to Price and the Los Alamitos City Council. Grose said he didn't mean to hurt or offend anyone and claimed he was unaware of the racial stereotype linking black people with eating watermelons.

Grose released the following statement to the Orange County Register:

"This was clearly my mistake, which I accept was in poor taste and I regret that it has created this cloud. I am hopeful that Ms. Price will accept my apology with the spirit and the intent that it is offered."

The city of Los Alamitos says the e-mail doesn't reflect the city as a whole and that it doesn't condone the perpetuation of any racial stereotypes.

The mayor is expected to resign at Monday's City Council meeting.


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