MAHOPAC, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -A Putnam County school board president has resigned after being heard on an open mic making derogatory comments about a parent.
As CBS 2’s Emily Smith reported, Ray Cote was heard over the microphone at last month’s Mahopac Board of Education meeting calling a mother of six fat.
“This one here, chubby wubby, she gets fatter and fatter every meeting,” Cote said of an active parent who routinely volunteers.
Cote made the comments as he replied to a question asked by trustee Lucy Massafra, apparently not realizing it was in front of an open mic and streaming live on the school district’s website.
Roger Garcia has two children in Mahopac schools and knows the woman Cote was referring to in his off-the-cuff comments.
“She has a right to feel a wide range of feelings, it’s just sad,” he told Smith.
Deena Bell said she was at the board meeting and just out of the camera’s sight.
“It could’ve been about me and I’m disgusted. We’ve had issues in the past,” she told Smith.
Some parents are especially outraged because Mahopac High School athletes were suspended in March over racist tweets. The incident prompted swift action by the school board, Smith reported.
Cote created a diversity and sensitivity team in response to that scandal.
At a board meeting on Tuesday night, Cote submitted his resignation along with an apology that was read by the interim president, but despite the apology some parents are still upset.
“It was a very coldhearted apology,” Deena Bell said.
CBS 2 reached out to the school superintendent’s office and the board of education but did not get a response.
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