ISLE OF WIGHT, Va. (WAVY) - Friday, WAVY.com confronted a member of the Isle of Wight Board Of Supervisors about an email that the NAACP called racist jokes. Supervisor Byron Bailey said Friday he won't step down and he may run again in 2015, but there are more calls for him to resign .
But Bailey is only half of the story. The School Board member who sent the "racist" emails to Bailey -- Herb DeGroft -- is the other half.
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.
Both men were at a budget work shop meeting Monday. Instead of talking about the future of the county they went behind closed doors to discuss the controversy that is leading to calls for their resignations.
"When I look back on this, I look back and say 'why in the crap did you do that Herb?' " DeGroft said. "I shouldn't have done it. I have to learn when to hit the delete button, and not to hit the send button."
In his written apology to County residents DeGroft writes , "There was no intention or motivation...to be inappropriate...discriminatory against anyone ... Please forgive me for failing you in what you expect of me ... I apologize, and ask for your forgiveness and understanding."
Still, the other members of the IOW school board called on DeGroft to resign, according to Kenita Bowers with IOW schools. DeGroft told WAVY.com that he has no immediate plans to resign, but has "some people to talk to."
Those people may be NAACP members like Dottie Harris who know all about the emails: "It hurts, it's hurting, and it's hurtful," she said.
DeGroft forwarded the emails to the Vice-Chairman of County Board of Supervisors who forwarded them to County Administrators and other board members. Supervisor Bailey, who wrote "this is just too funny" on a forwarded email from DeGroft has admitted to WAVY.com his regret: "No, it's not funny...I regret sending it out."
Monday, Board of Supervisors Chairperson JoAnn Hall called on Bailey to resign.
"His actions have disgraced the County," she said. "The only way for him to make this right is to step down...this morning he told us he had decided not to step down, and he will run for another term....the board is divided, and I don't see how they will ever get past the email controversy until Bailey resigns."
The situation has become so distracting that Hall told WAVY.com she doesn't plan to stay with in her position when her term ends this December.
"Supervisor Bailey is an embarrassment to the county and the people," Hall said.
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