Colonie town official criticized over alleged slur

Colonie Supervisor Paula Mahan is calling for the lone Republican on the Town Board to step down


Colonie Supervisor Paula Mahan is calling for the lone Republican on the Town Board to step down after he allegedly used a racial slur and made derogatory statements while at a golf league gathering earlier this month.

Mahan, a Democrat, said Dan Dustin should resign after admitting to making the racially charged statement to H. Paul Thomas at the Mill Road Acres Golf Course on Sept. 13. She said its come to her knowledge that Dustin apologized for statements made “during a moment of anger” but that his apology also constitutes an admission of guilt.

“As I’ve previously stated, this kind of language is totally unacceptable, at any time, in any place, or by anyone, especially an elected public official,” she said Wednesday.

Dustin did not return a call for comment Wednesday afternoon. A man answering the phone at the home of H. Paul Thomas was terse with his response to a question about Dustin’s alleged statements.

“Look this is very stale news. I have no comment,” he said before hanging up.

The incident came to light when Patricia Halpin, Thomas’ wife, wrote a letter to Mahan asking that Dustin be reprimanded for his behavior and have a letter placed in his “personal history file.” She claimed her husband, who is black, teased Dustin about his golf handicap, and the board member responded angrily with the racial slur.

“Mr. Dustin is an elected town official, employee of yours — who represents the Town of Colonie’s constituents, many of whom are of various racial origins, and many of whom heard this derogatory, racial slur that evening.” Halpin wrote in the letter dated Sept. 22. “Whether he is in ‘official’ capacity or not — this type of racial comment is reprehensible.”

Town Attorney Mike Magguilli said there is little that can be done to sanction an elected official for such behavior. He said the only possible area in the town code that would be applicable is a provision in the ethics law, which states all officials must treat the public

Categories: Schenectady County

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