Longview Councilwoman Karen Hailey has released an Official statement addressing the recent city e mail controversy.
"I understand the outrage expressed by many in the community. I am outraged too. After additional review of the emails released from the open records request initiated by an attorney for Kyle Smith, owner of the McCann Street Grill, I am becoming more convinced that although there may have been some wording that was mine in the most volatile messages, I am convinced that the memos have been altered to create a firestorm in our community. I did not use the n- word, I don t use those words. I have serious concerns that the insulting messages are part of a political agenda that includes destroying my credibility in the community for the Mayor s own personal reasons and to get a fourth vote on the council to further the agenda of Mayor Moore, Mr. Dean and Mr. Finklea.
The emails that raise the most concern are messages from me to Mayor Moore from last February and March. No one talked to me about seeing any emails with racial slurs until August of this year and no one would show me copies when I asked for them. If Mayor Moore truly cared about our city why is he only now coming forward under the guise of an open records request to air this problem of racism on our city council. Why did the Mayor release the full information package meant for council members only to a selected media friend a full day before the open records request was due to be released to the requestors if this was not to further his own agenda. The cover letter on the package to council members clearly stated that this was not to be released publicly and was for council information only. The requestors would receive their packages the following day. Several of the documents in that package are not even emails! The mayor could not wait to continue his politics of personal destruction against me.
I asked the Mayor for a facilitator three months into the Mayor s term (Aug 2003) because of these types of problems - the twisted and inaccurate gossip and communication. This request was discussed not only with one of Mr. Moore s most adamant admirers but the city manager as well.
The question the people of Longview need to ask is why our mayor has decided to put our city through this divisiveness now. If he was leading the city and the allegations are true he could have handled it at the time he claims it occurred. I stand firm that the emails causing the most concern are altered and I will not be railroaded into resigning. I look forward to working with the facilitator to air the issues that divide this council and racism is one of them. I am not a racist. My past work in the community stands as my record. Those who know me well and have worked with me in all types of volunteerism know I was involved in the creation of the Racism Council after MLK Day 2002 and know I would not speak or use racist words. I am proud of my record and have been extremely appreciative of the continuing prayers and calls of support."