Ossining fire official in hot water over racist e-mail

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Ossining Deputy Fire Chief Thomas Reddy issued an apology Tuesday for sending a racially offensive e-mail that targeted President-elect Barack Obama.

"I'm sorry that they're offended," Reddy says, referring to his friends and colleagues who received the e-mail. "In hindsight, I wish I didn't send it."

The e-mail message consisted of a knock-knock joke that ended with a caricature of Obama and the words "eyes yo' new president,? misspelled and grammatically incorrect. Reddy says he thought it was just a political spoof.

But some people, including Village Manager Linda Copper, believe the e-mail is racist.

?We sat him down and said that was inappropriate, that that's not acceptable behavior,? she says.

Village officials asked Reddy to formally apologize to members of all nine fire departments in the area. As a part of his public mea culpa, Reddy asked the fire chief if he could head up minority recruitment efforts within the fire department to make up for his mistake.

This is not the first time Reddy has been mired in controversy. In 1996, he was forced to step down from his position as school board president after using the "n"-word.

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