ISLE OF WIGHT, Va. (WAVY) - The Isle of Wight County Board of Supervisors voted to keep Byron Bailey as Vice-Chairman Thursday night after community outrage over what many called racist emails he helped circulate.
The vote from IOW supervisors at Thursday's board meeting comes as a surprise because just Monday Board of Supervisors Chairperson JoAnn Hall called on Bailey to resign. The board was divided on the vote. However, the majority ruled he should remain a supervisor.
WAVY.com broke the story about how Bailey forwarded the emails among IOW board members and how they actually originated from school board member Herb DeGroft .
The emailed jokes seen as racist: One showed bare breasted women as members of First Lady Michelle Obama's High School reunion. Another one said she was offered $50 to pose nude by National Geographic.
The NAACP said the emails were offensive, racist and insulting to First Lady Michelle Obama and told WAVY.com they plan to do a recall election to vote Bailey out.
Thursday's meeting was the first board meeting since Bailey and DeGroft were exposed for sending the emails. The gathering was intended to approve the school budget that led to the 'south will rise again' comment that sparked controversy.
"What I did has no justification," said Bailey to WAVY.com. "It was terrible and I freely admit that."
Bailey went on to say, "I was elected by the people in the Newport district. If they choose to do a recall election, we'll just have to do it."
Supervisor Bailey, who wrote "this is just too funny" on a forwarded email from DeGroft admitted his regret: "No, it's not funny...I regret sending it out." DeGroft shared similar regrets with WAVY.com .
A Newport News man is charged for allegedly sexually assaulting a young girl.
Police say a 19-year-old was shot Thursday evening in Newport News.
Three separate crashes on Interstate 664 occurred at the same time Thursday morning, causing headaches for motorists.