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Pressure mounting for Mascia to resign BMHA post following racial slurs

The pressure is growing on Joe Mascia to quit his post as a board member of the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority in the wake of released secretly-recorded racist comments. The BMHA board asked him to quit on Thursday and he refused. He's elected by the heavily-minority residents of the authority's projects across the city.

Mayor Brown has also joined the chorus for Mascia to step down.

"What makes it even more disturbing is that he was secretly taped by a friend of his who claimed that he was so disturbed by his past racist comments and by his past tirades that he felt he should tape him and make his attitudes and make his views known to the public," notes Brown. "The residents of public housing should ask for his resignation as well.... the BMHA housing commissioners have called for his resignation. These are his fellow public housing commissioners and they voted today, unanimously with one absence, to call for his resignation."

Meanwhile, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz calls Mascia's comments "unacceptable." Poloncarz adds, "There's no justifications for that type of behavior. There's no justification for anybody to use the N-word. Nevertheless, to try to use it repeatedly to describe public officials, individuals, who are doing their best to create a better community. He needs to seriously think about his future in this community because I certainly don't believe an apology is enough."

Mascia has apologized for his comments.  On the tape, he was repeatedly heard using the N-word. Mascia's racial slurs were targeted at Mayor Byron Brown, Council President Darius Pridgen and other elected officials.  Mascia is currently an elected tenant representative on the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority Board of Commissioners and he is running for the Common Council's Fillmore District seat.

You can hear WBFO's interview with Joseph Mascia about the tape by clicking here.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.
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