As thousands of residents in Flint, Mich., are confronted with the possibility of foreclosure due to unpaid water bills—for water that many still can't use, NBC News notes—an official who worked for a county nonprofit that handles foreclosed homes has stepped down after audio emerged of what he thinks caused Flint's woes. "Flint has the same problems as Detroit: F---ing n---ers don't pay their bills," ex-Genesee County Land Bank sales manager Phil Stair can be heard saying on the tape, obtained by local environmental activist Chelsea Lyons, who put the recordings on the Truth Against the Machine website Sunday. "Believe me, I deal with them," Stair goes on during his May 26 talk with Lyons, in which he blames the city of Detroit for driving Flint away from its water system via price-gouging (which Lyons notes doesn't exactly sync with other accounts of Detroit's role).
Per MLive.com, Lyons had received a tip Stair was hanging out at a local bar and headed over to talk to him about the GCLB, which began two days of taped conversations. Lyons notes Stair was drinking when they chatted, though he "didn't appear to be drunk," per Michigan Radio. In Stair's story, he also blames Gov. Rick Snyder for not stopping Flint from turning away from Detroit's water system (which Lyons agrees with), then continues on about Flint's residents, some of whom he calls "derelict mother f---ers" and "f---in' deadbeats." "I don't want to call them n---ers; s---, I just went to Myrtle Beach, 24 guys, and I was the only white guy," he says. "I mean, there's trash and there's people that do this sh--." GCLB's director confirmed Monday to NBC that Stair was no longer an employee, saying the group was "deeply troubled" by his "offensive and inexcusable" remarks. Lyons' full story, with more "damning audio" set to be released Tuesday, is here. (Read more Flint, Michigan stories.)