Wolfeboro, New Hampshire:
Wolfeboro Police Commissioner Robert Copeland listens Thursday May 15, 2014 in Wolfeboro, N.H. as town residents ask for his resignation after being overheard calling President Barack Obama the N-word at a restaurant.
Photo Courtesy: Associated Press
The police commissioner of a small U.S. town has resigned after he admitted using a racial slur to describe President Barack Obama, a town official said Monday.
Robert Copeland, 82, resigned Sunday night from the post to which he was re-elected in March, putting to rest a controversy that drew national attention and sparked impassioned debate in this resort town of 6,300 on the shore of Lake Winnipesaukee, Board of Selectmen Chair Linda Murray said.
Copeland has not returned several calls seeking comment.
At a meeting last week, Copeland defiantly sat with his arms folded as more than 100 residents pushed for his ouster and tore into his comments, saying he didn't speak the town or its people.
Copeland admitted using the slur, preceded by an obscenity, while he was at a restaurant in March. A resident overheard him and complained to town officials when she learned that Copeland was a police commissioner.
"I believe I did use the 'N' word in reference to the current occupant of the Whitehouse," Copeland said in the April email sent to the two other commissioners and forwarded to O'Toole. "For this, I do not apologize - he meets and exceeds my criteria for such."
Mitt Romney, the former Republican presidential nominee and the former Massachusetts governor, owns a home in the town and called for Copeland's resignation, saying "the vile epithet used and confirmed by the commissioner has no place in our community."
About 20 black people live year-round in Wolfeboro, in the scenic Lakes Region of New Hampshire, a state that's 94 percent white and 1 percent black. None of the town police department's 12 full-time officers is black or a member of another minority.