A senior state official in Utah has apologised for a sending an unhinged, expletive-filled email to a local council candidate after he was woken from a “lovely siesta” by a doorknocker.
Utah Assistant Attorney-General Steven Wuthrich sent the “hateful” email to Darin Mano, Salt Lake City’s first Asian American council member who is currently campaigning for re-election, claiming his afternoon nap was disturbed on Saturday.
“After a day of canvassing and trying to reach my constituents in District 5, I came home to this hateful email,” Mr Mano posted on Facebook earlier this week.
“As an Asian American and member of the LGBTQ+ community, I must stand up against hate speech and call it out when I see it. As a city council member and a candidate running for election, it’s my duty to reach my constituents, listen to what is important to them and make informed decisions. There’s no room for hate in our city.”
Mr Mano, who was appointed to fill a vacancy in January last year and is running on the ballot for the first time, said he felt compelled to speak out due to the rise in attacks on Asian Americans.
In the email, Mr Wuthrich said he had a “no soliciting sign on my door for a reason”.
“On a nice Saturday afternoon myself and my wife and my downstairs tenant were all taking a lovely siesta when some motherfer ignorant son-of-bch rang out doorbell and put your piece of sh*t unwanted solicitation in our door waking the dogs and waking us and the neighbours with an uproar,” he wrote.
“I will do everything in my power to see you never get elected to any office higher than dog catcher. I hate you. I hate your family. I hate your solicitors. I hate your contributors. I hate your sponsors. Kindly die and go to hell motherfer!!!!”
In a subsequent Facebook post, Mr Mano acknowledged that while the email did not mention his race or sexuality, “it did feel personal” as “my family and my heritage are featured prominently” on the flyer left at Mr Wuthrich’s door.
The flyer depicts Mr Mano with his partner and four children.
Mr Wuthrich issued an apology late on Tuesday afternoon.
“Last Saturday I was awakened from a nap and reacted with undue anger based solely on the interruption to my tranquillity,” he said in the statement, NBC reported.
“Since then I have regretted the ferocity and language of that email. My words were uncivil and unprofessional.
“From me personally, I apologise to Salt Lake City Councilman Darin Mano and his family. I never wished harm to Mr Mano, his family or anyone associated with him. No parent, spouse or child should be subjected to such emotional outbursts. I am deeply sorry.”
He added that he was “taking steps to examine my reaction and find ways to ensure nothing like this ever happens again”.
Mr Mano told NBC that while he accepted the apology, the prosecutor had not reached out to him or his team about the email.
“It was an inappropriate response, particularly from a public official,” he said.
He also clarified that despite the no solicitation sign, “solicitation and campaigning are not the same thing”.
“Our understanding of the law is that campaigning is protected under the First Amendment – that’s why we were particularly shocked because one would think that the Assistant Attorney-General would know the difference,” he said.