Politics & Government

City councilman's e-mail included joke about killing Obama

ATWATER, Calif. — Violent and racist e-mail jokes alluding to the assassination of President Barack Obama, the killing of Latinos and violence against black people were forwarded by Atwater City Councilman Gary Frago during the last six months, according to more than 200 new e-mails obtained by the Sun-Star from the city of Atwater.

The councilman, who forwarded the newly obtained e-mails to city staff and a county supervisor, among others, has been under public pressure to resign since it was learned in July that he had sent other racist e-mails in late 2008 and early 2009.

One of the most troubling of the new Frago e-mails, forwarded in January, joked that Nokia had designed a new cell phone for "nervous white people" who want to make calls in a series of cities known for their large black populations, such as Oakland and New Orleans. The phone was a gun.

Merced County Supervisor Mike Nelson and Atwater's Assistant City Manager Stan Feathers both received this e-mail. Neither recalled the e-mail, they said.

Another e-mail forwarded by Frago on Dec. 9, 2008, was in the form of a fictitious letter sent by Sen. John McCain to John Hinckley Jr., a man obsessed with actress Jodie Foster, who attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan in 1981. The letter said that Hinckley would be released soon and he should know that Obama was sleeping with Foster now.

Atwater City Manager Greg Wellman was the e-mail's only recipient. He said he doesn't recall receiving the e-mail.

Read the complete story at mercedsunstar.com

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