New Orleans Councilwoman Stacy Head is under fire for allegedly using the “N”-word in an e-mail in referring to African-American Police Superintendent Warren Riley.
Head, however, denies that such an e-mail exists.
"Despite countless requests to produce the alleged e-mail(s), Chief Riley has yet to substantiate his accusations,” Head said in a statement she released t to WDSU. “What he suggests is absolutely, wholeheartedly, unequivocally not true. It's against my very core and upbringing. Never would I use such language. To even dedicate time to purposefully damaging someone's character based only on hearsay is reprehensible."
The controversy surfaced last week during a radio call-in show on station WBOK with the superintendent.
Said one caller: "I hear one of our council members are sending e-mails, well one in particular – Ms. Head – sent an e-mail saying she hopes you fail and 'let's not approve your budget.’”
Interjected Riley: "And you forgot the 'N’-word that was in the e-mail, from what I understand."
While off-camera, Riley told WDSU that he doesn't see the e-mail as a big deal, he acknowledged that he's never seen the message, adding that he doesn't have proof that Head actually sent it, WDSU reports.
"If however there is proof, and he produces an e-mail in which this is actually confirmed, it could be very devastating for her race (for re-election)," political analyst Brian Brox said. "This will provide a little bit of additional ammunition for those who already suspect she's a racist, but it won't hurt her with those who are undecided and those who are supporting her, unless evidence comes forward.”