A longtime official at the largest property-owning organization in Flint, MI, has resigned from his position after audio of him using the n-word while blaming the city’s black population for municipal problems was published online on Sunday.
Genesee County Land Bank sales manager Phil Stair’s resignation came after environmental activist and journalist Chelsea Lyons published a May 26 recording of Stair saying “Flint has the same problems as Detroit: fucking niggers don’t pay their bills, believe me, I deal with them,” on the website truthagainstthemachine.com.
“I don’t want to call them niggers,” Stair can be heard saying. “Shit, I just went to Myrtle Beach, 24 guys, and I was the only white guy; I got friends, I mean, there’s trash and there’s people that do this shit. They just don’t pay their bills.”
On its website, the Genesee County Land Bank describes itself as “a government organization that manages tax-foreclosed properties in Genesee County,” which was “created in 2004 to respond to the tax-foreclosure cycle in Genesee County.” According to MLive.com, the Land Bank is the largest property owner in Flint, and handles tasks like demolitions and sales.
On Monday, a small crowd gathered outside the bank’s offices on Monday, demanding Stair be fired, Michigan Radio reported. Speaking with the county Board of Commissioners shortly thereafter, Land Bank executive director Michele Wildman announced she had accepted Stair’s resignation.
“I am deeply troubled by [Stair’s comments],” Wildman said. “The citizens of Flint deserve to have trust in their public officials.”
In May it was reported that over 8,000 Flint residents were at risk of losing their homes after the city threatened to place tax liens on properties which hadn’t paid water bills in six months or more. This happened after Gov. Rick Snyder canceled a program providing state funds to cover Flint residents’ water bills—part of the (largely inadequate) response to the ongoing water crisis in that city.