Now, Robert Kozakiewicz is trying to distance himself from his wife's remarks, calling them inexcusable.
The rant has sent shock waves well beyond the community. Here is a screen grab of the now-deleted post:
"Terribly upset about it," resident Butch Langhorn said. "It never should have happened."
Langhorn is a lifelong resident of Riverhead, a town of 35,000 that is at least 10 percent African-American.
Kozakiewicz was appointed by the town board and makes critical decisions that could affect many. He appeared shaken and apologetic on News12 Monday.
"It's not something I support," he said. "Anybody who knows me, knows that's not me. It's not something I support or endorse. It's inexcusable."
Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter has spoken out in support of Kozakiewicz.
"His wife is very sick," he said. "I'm not going to take anything away. Those comments were absolutely horrific, but Bob's wife suffers from some mental illnesses, in my unprofessional opinion, brought on by alcoholism."
Some have suggested that Kozakiewicz should step down, while others are still not sure what to say.
"I would like to see some dialogue," said Majorie Acevedo, with the Riverhead Anti-Bias Task Force. "Everybody open up. I think at one point, maybe Bob should take a leave of absence."
Kozakiewicz did not respond to repeated requests for an interview.