Wolfeboro, NH, United States (4E) – The New Hampshire police commissioner who was overheard calling President Barack Obama the n-word at a local restaurant in March has resigned amid the firestorm sparked by the racial slur.
Commissioner Bob Copeland, 82, informed Wolfeboro Police Commission chairman Joe Balboni, Jr. of his resignation by e-mail on Sunday night. His resignation follows calls by residents, officials and lawmakers for him to resign since resident Jane O’Toole filed a complaint with the police commission and town officials.
In March, O’Toole overheard Copeland loudly describing Obama using the slur while sitting in a town restaurant. Copeland, the vice chairman of Wolfeboro’s three-member police commission and elected to his second three-year term in March, admitted making the offensive remark to his fellow police commissioners, but did not apologize.
Calls for his resignation followed. Among them were Gov. Maggie Hassan, who said stepping down would restore confidence in the commission; Sens. Kelly Ayotte (R) and Jeanne Shaheen (D); Jeb Bradley, a former congressman and current state senator from Wolfeboro; and former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who owns a vacation home in Wolfeboro.
Commissioners Balboni and Ron Goodgame will fill the vacancy with an appointee. Applicants for police commission must be registered voters who have lived in Wolfeboro for the past five years.