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Melrose Park Mayor Apologizes For Profanity-Laden Tirade At Village Meeting; Recipient Not Accepting It

MELROSE PARK, Ill. (CBS) -- Melrose Park Mayor Ronald M. Serpico was recorded using profanity and a racial slur as he raised his voice at a resident at a village meeting last week.

Late Thursday, Mayor Serpico said he was sorry. But the man who was the target of that tirade was not buying it.

Inside the Melrose Park Civic Center, audio recordings captured Serpico on the profane rant.

"You're really reaching me, so do me a f***ing favor and sit down and shut the f**k up," Serpico tells the man. "How's that, you little f***ing prick?"

Serpico goes on to call the man a "jagoff."

Mike Cozzi was the man to whom the mayor was talking.

"I just recorded it," Cozzi said. "I just started recording."

Cozzi captured the recording during the public meeting after he said he came to speak out against the tickets his family keeps getting because of furniture on their front yard.

"We're getting $500 tickets every day since December 1," Cozzi said.

Yet when it came time for public comments, Mayor Serpico did not want to hear a word from Cozzi – and the mayor let it rip.

Serpico:: "Yeah. 'cause you look like a piece of s**t. You're like a f***ing hillbilly. You're like a hillbilly."

Cozzi: "No I don't. There's chairs outside. There's chairs outside. We're not bothering nobody."

Serpico: "No, you're a f***ing joke. You're waste of f***ing humanity."

"Nobody should say words like that in a public setting," Cozzi said. "I mean, he's the mayor."

That was not all the mayor said. He hurled a long-used ethnic slur to describe Black shoe-shiners.

"You look like a f***ing shine on 15th (Avenue) because you're doing it to bust f***ing balls. That's what you're doing. So go f**k yourself! Go f**k yourself!" Serpico said to Cozzi.

Late Thursday, Serpico issued this statement: "I regret making these comments. This resident has repeatedly harassed me and the village board of trustees and in this instance my frustration got the better of me. I apologize for my comments and pledge to do better in the future."

Terry asked Cozzi if he accepted that apology. Cozzi said no.

"Absolutely not," he said. "Apology not accepted, because he should resign for something like that."

The mayor has been in office since 1997, and has made no mention of resigning. Cozzi said he will continue coming to council meetings until the tickets stop.

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