Head of state fire fighters union resigns after racial slurs about ObamaThe head of the state firefighters’ union has resigned over a controversial racial slur he made about Barack Obama.
The head of the state firefighters’ union has resigned over a controversial racial slur he made about Barack Obama.
A union statement said Rick Gale of West Allis also left the state’s Retirement Board - which he chaired – and the State Fair Park Board.
Reports said Gale used the “N” word while having drinks with several union board members as they were watching a TV news account of Obama’s election as president.
Gale was politically-connected to Gov. Jim Doyle, as his wife has served as Doyle’s campaign treasurer. Gale himself worked on Obama’s Wisconsin campaign.
Doyle spokesman Lee Sensenbrenner said Gale apologized to the governor last week.
The resignation comes after seven chapters of the Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin demanded on Monday night that Gale quit.
He’s quoted in the union’s statement as saying the racial slur “has no business in my vocabulary, and I should have not have used it – not even in private.”
The head of the International Association of Fire Fighters, Harold Schaitberger, called Gale’s comment about Obama “inexcusable.”
The state union will choose one of its board members to serve as president until its annual convention next June.