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November 30, 2015

Pennsylvania police chief resigns after using 'N-word' in email

Derogatory comment about African Americans made ahead of fundraiser

Police Race
Farrell Thomas Burke WKBN /Screen Shot

A screenshot from news station WKBN shows former Farrell Police Chief Thomas Burke apologizing after it was discovered he used a racial slur in an email. He has since resigned.

A Pennsylvania police chief has resigned a month before taking office after it was revealed that he used a racial slur in an email.

According to the Sharon Herald, Thomas J. Burke, who was hired and set to take over as head of Farrell's newly formed police department in January, told the western Pennsylvania city's mayor Friday that he was quitting after it was discovered he used the N-word while drumming up support for a fundraiser earlier this year. Burke is white.

The Herald reports that Mayor Olive McKeithan announced Burke's decision. More from the Herald:

“I asked him if he would step down because I thought it would be best for the community,’’ McKeithan said. “He said ‘yes.’

According to WKBN, the email in question was sent in April regarding a fundraiser and included a derogatory comment about African Americans. According to the news station, it read:

“Good morning. Please click and review. Even one dollar will be greatly appreciated. Them Sharon ‘expletive’ gotta learn how to read.”

Burke publicly apologized earlier in the week and McKeithan, who is black, stated her support for him.

After consultation with several city officials and public outrage, Burke resigned, according to the Herald.