Wilton Manors Commissioner Ted Galatis Won't Resign After N-Word Incident
Tuesday marked the first Wilton Manors commission meeting since news broke of Commissioner Ted Galatis using the n-word on a black driver he was involved in a road rage incident with on June 1.
About six speakers at Tuesday's commission meeting stepped up and called for Galatis' resignation, or at least for him to be censured over the incident.
Galatis has admitted to using the racial slur and has issued an apology -- using the excuse that he thought he was in danger -- but refuses to resign.
Galatis apologized a second time at the commission meeting, saying, "The last thing I wanted to do was bring embarrassment upon the city, my wife and my family. I apologize from the bottom of my heart for the use of that word. That is not me."
Wilton Manors resident, and friend of Galatis, Naomi Parker, called for the commissioner to step down.
"This is probably the hardest night, Ted, but I need you to resign," Parker said, per NBCMiami. "My kids have played at your pool. I've eaten food out of your house, and all it took was for me to make you angry and I would have been called a n****r. It's not 'the n-word.' The word is n****r. It's not 'the n-word.'"
Parker was removed from speaking after using the slur herself. Parker is also running for one of two commission seats open in November, as is Galatis.
"I believe you're sorry, you know, but I also believe it's a way of thinking," another resident told Galatis.
According to a police report on the incident, Galatis and his wife were leaving the Publix on Oakland Park Boulevard when they were followed by another car that began honking at them. Galatis told cops he got out to confront the occupants in the car, who were all black.
The occupants in the car said Galatis began using the racial slur in a fit of rage.
"[Driver] stated that T Galatis began calling her and her passengers 'N_____' and at that point she requested for police to respond," the police report reads. "[Driver] stated that she was upset that T Galatis called her and the passengers of her vehicle 'N____' and did not want him to get away with it."
According to Galatis' version of the incident, he admits to using the racial slur, but not before a young black man got out of the other car and asked him, "What's your problem, white boy?"
His wife also told NBCMiami that one of the occupants from the other car threatened to "slice" her up.
News of the incident has been met with mostly anger toward the commissioner.
One black resident at the meeting said, "If you get mad at a gay person, do you call him the f-word? If you get mad at a Jewish person, do you call him the k-word?"
He also told Galatis that he had voted for the commissioner but called the action "disgusting."
"Being a black man in this town," the resident said, "it's disgusting."
We were also sent several emails after we posted on this story earlier in the week.
"As a gay, black male living in the area it is my opinion that this is a deplorable act which must be punished," wrote one reader named Jonathan. "This is unacceptable and proves Ted Galatis is nothing more than a racist. An apology is not enough to satisfy his choice of poor behavior and I strongly challenge all citizens who stand for equality and integration to take a stand to remove this man from his current position."
One of the speakers at the commission meeting said Galatis should undergo sensitivity training, which Commissioner Scott Newton agreed with.
For now, that seems to be the extent of reprimand Galatis will receive over the incident.
He's up for reelection in November.