Emailed joke causes stir

Posted September 27, 2011

An email mocking President Obama went to all legislators Tuesday on the General Assembly email system, forwarded to them by Shirley Winstead, a legislative assistant for Rep. Efton Sager, R-Wayne. 

The message went out at 11:45, and Winstead tried to recall the message a few minutes later.

An hour later, she sent a follow-up message: "I accidentally sent an email earlier today that was not intentional, and I apologize. I certainly did not mean to offend anyone and cannot express enough how sorry I am for the mistake I made."

Winstead insists she never meant to forward the message to all legislative members. She broke into tears when WRAL News reporter Cullen Browder went to ask her about it.

North Carolina Legislature Building (4x3) NC House staffer apologizes for sending anti-Obama email

The message, which referred to President Obama as a "pompous a--" who is afraid of schoolchildren, ruffled some feathers on the Democratic side of the aisle. At least one, Sen. Eric Mansfield, D-Cumberland, said a formal apology would be in order. 

House Legislative Assistant Director Dianne Russell said that, while it was "clearly inappropriate" to forward the email on legislative computers, it isn't an ethics violation because it didn't involve campaigning.

Russell also told WRAL News that she doesn't have the power to take disciplinary action. That would have to come from Winstead's boss, Sager.

Sager says that won't happen. "I stand 100 percent behind her," he said. "She’s too nice a person to do something like that on purpose. No ill will intended.”


This blog post is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • josephlawrence43 Sep 29, 2011

    what did the girl say that was so irrational or out of bounds??? From what I saw--she tole the truth...since when is that a sin???? Oh yes, I know. The liberal/leftist/socialists can't stand truth. They prefer "politically correct speech"--translated it means they think they can pick up a piece of human feces by the clean end.

  • dollibug Sep 28, 2011

    SOMETIMES, things happen......perhaps for a reason....

  • faperrigo Sep 28, 2011

    Big whoop. We should have seen more coverage about a Dem using the term "defective children" on the House floor when referring to children with disabilities. Or, a Dem senator calling Sen. Forrester a nazi during 'debate' on the Senate floor.

  • vgambini Sep 27, 2011

    Who used the state-owned computers to forward the email to WRAL? Please give us the name of the person who did that.

  • djofraleigh Sep 27, 2011

    Not enough of the email was quoted to make a judgment. That email as quoted is not as bad as political leaders have said in person.

  • dwilliams642 Sep 27, 2011

    Probably wasn't the first time she did this- and it probably won't be her last.