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Thomas: 'Dustin is not a racist' UPDATE

In a letter sent to Town of Colonie Supervisor Paula Mahan,obtained by the Spotlight, H. Paul Thomas, the man whom Councilman Dan Dustin allegedly hurled a racist epithet towards, said the matter was blown out of proportion.

The letter, dated Sept. 28, continues to clarify some the events that occurred at the Mill Road Acres Golf Course Restaurant on the evening of Sept. 13.

He said that his wife, Patricia A. Halpin, who wrote the original letter alleging the slur, was not present when the incident occurred and that Dustin has \repeatedly apologized to me wholeheartedly and I have accepted his apology and we remain golf buddies.

Thomas said that he wishes that no harm comes to Dustin and that he would like the situation to be forgotten.

"I know Mr. Dustin and know that he is not a racist," Thomas said in the letter to Mahan. "His comments were made in a heated, private moment of discussion and we have reacted impulsively and inappropriately after the incident occurred."

Update:

Sara Wiest, Mahan's public information officer, said Mahan has not yet received the letter but acknowledged that it has been circulating around.

Since in the letter Thomas states that Dustin has apologized to him, Mahan said she sees it as "an admission by Mr. Dustin" that what was stated in Halpin's letter was true.

"Therefore, there is no further need to investigate this matter," Mahan said in an email. "However, I still believe Mr. Dustin should step down."

Mahan added that her administration has "zero tolerance" for these types of actions and that no one, especially an elected official, should use this sort of language.

"I believe that what comes out of a person's mouth is what's in his head and in his heart.""

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