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Lowell School Committee Member Robert Hoey Resigns After Using Anti-Semitic Slur On Local TV

LOWELL (CBS) - Robert Hoey, the Lowell School Committee member who faced backlash after using an anti-Semitic slur on local access television this week, resigned via a Facebook live video on Friday. Hoey used the slur during a Lowell TV show called "City Life" when talking about the District's former Chief Financial Officer.

After using the slur on TV, Hoey went on to say, "I hate to say it, but that's what people used to say behind his back."

Hoey recorded a video on Friday in Lowell, where he stood outside between two rocks and apologized for his remarks while adding that he will no longer serve on the school committee.

"I'll try to be short and sweet for you, but I'm still in between a rock and a hard place. That's why I'm doing this between these two big rocks," Hoey said. "I'm so sorry to that individual that was hurt by this. And I'm sorry to every individual across the country because this thing is going all over the place."

"As of today, I am resigning from the Lowell School Committee."

During the seven-minute video, the 66-year-old cried as he talked about giving up his spot on the committee.

"I know what I said, and boy am I ashamed of myself. I will never say those words again after this," he said. "If you don't condemn the word I said, shame on you."

"I love my life. I love what I did for the past 25 years. I fought for race relations in policing. When I lost city council 25 years ago, 30 years ago, my top things in my platform, top things, police, race relations, alcohol. So I have a big mouth. That's what I have. I found out the last few days I have no control over how I talk or speak. What you get is what you see."

On Thursday, Lowell Mayor John Leahy condemned the remarks.

"I couldn't believe that came out of his mouth. We don't say those things as elected officials in Lowell," Leahy said.

Lowell Superintendent of Schools Joel D. Boyd wrote in a statement that Hoey's use of the slur had "no place in our community".

"As your superintendent, I want to be clear that there is no place in our community - whether in the boardroom, on television, or in the classroom - for antisemitism, racism, anti-immigrant sentiment, or any other form of bias-based conduct," Boyd wrote. "The word used by Committee Member Hoey on City Life was abhorrent and unacceptable in any setting."

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