Mahopac school official resigns over 'chubby' comment

Joe Torres reports the school board president described a parent as a 'chubby wubby'. (WABC)
May 14, 2014 5:33:04 AM PDT
A school board president in Putnam County has resigned after he described a parent, on an open mike, as "a chubby wubby, she keeps getting fatter and fatter at every meeting, she really does."

The comment by Ray Cote took place during last month's board of education meeting in Mahopac.

The school board's attorney, Ralph DeMarco, announced the resignation of Cote at Tuesday night's meeting, effective immediately.

Michael Sclafani, the current Vice President, will assume the duties of President of the Board of Education.

Cote also said he would not run for re-election.

Sclafani read the following two statements at the meeting:

From Mr. Cote:

"I would like to apologize for my choice of words after the close of the board meeting on April 8th which are regretful. My words were inappropriate and do not reflect my feelings or attitudes. I will strive to regain the trust and respect of the community."

From the Board of Education:

"The Mahopac Board of Education acknowledges the apology of former Board President Mr. Ray Cote regarding his comments after the close of the meeting on April 8th. We are disappointed by and do not condone this lapse of judgment on the part of Mr. Cote. The BOE expects all of its members and meeting participants and attendees to act in a respectful manner. It is our commitment to move forward as a community in a positive manner and focus on the education of our children."

Deena Bell could not believe her ears about Cote's comments. The mother of two high schoolers posted the video clip on YouTube.

"It totally tells us that he cares nothing for the community that he says he upholds. Nothing. He cares nothing for us," said Bell.

Parents told us Mr. Cote is part of a diversity and sensitivity team created in response to a scandal back in March.

That's when some Mahopac High School students posted racially insensitive comments on Twitter following a basketball sectional playoff game against Mount Vernon.

"I also have a job, and I think the other parents in this community have a job, to really really pound into their kids what's right and what's wrong. And antics like this do not help," said a parent, Roger Garcia.

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