Assessor voices anti-Semitic slur

TAGHKANIC – When a town official uses an anti-Semitic slur at a public meeting, word travels fast.

At last week’s Town Board meeting Art Griffith, the town’s elected tax assessor, said, “We Jewed them down.” Mr. Griffith said this during a discussion of a bill from a contractor he uses in his work. The remark triggered a wave of outrage from those present.

“Wait a minute,” protested Town Board Member Larry Kadish.

“He made a mistake,” said Town Supervisor Betty Young.

“It’s not a mistake, it’s a common phrase used all the time,” said Mr. Griffith, who did not apologize.

“I consider it an act of ignorance and pure prejudice,” said Mr. Kadish in a phone conversation the following week.

In a phone interview this week Supervisor Young said, “I didn’t like it. I put a stop to it. It was unfortunate. I am sure it won’t happen again. It should never have happened. As far as apologies are concerned, I don’t feel the board owes anyone an apology. That’s the end of it. I’ve known Mr. Griffith for many years, over 56 years, and I respect everyone’s religion. It’s going to stop here, it’s finished. It’s done.”

After the meeting Ms. Young did apologize to a several individuals who had been present at the meeting.

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