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Yellowstone County Treasurer admits sending racist e-mail

James Woodcock, Billings Gazette

Yellowstone County treasurer and county superintendent of schools, Max Lenington, says his use of racist and anti-gay slurs in an email were a private message to his sister, and reflected his anger that President Barack Obama was re-elected.

The Billings Gazette reports Yellowstone County Attorney Scott Twito is investigating whether there are grounds to recall Lenington for comments made in an email sent from his work computer last year.

    News Director Sally Mauk spoke with Lenington this afternoon about the e-mail, which he confirms he sent. In the e-mail, Lenington says of Obama's re-election, "It must mean there are more lesbians, queers, Indians, Mexicans, and n____ [ slur for

blacks] than the rest of us!"

Lenington admits people might be offended by the remarks.

"Possibly, but I wouldn't say it in public...It was strictly a comment to my sweet sister," Lenington said.

Lenington believes the slurs he used are commonly used in Montana.

"I was born and raised in central Montana and that's kind of the way we talk," he said.

Lenington has worked for Yellowstone county for over 40 years. His term ends on December 31st, 2014. He says he's in discussion with the county attorney over whether he will resign over the remarks but says he's getting lots of support to stay in office.

Retired in 2014 but still a presence at MTPR, Sally Mauk is a University of Kansas graduate and former wilderness ranger who has reported on everything from the Legislature to forest fires.
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