FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, June 20, 2018
PLEASE CONTACT: Brian E. Downey, GOAL President
(917) 371-7757 • firstname.lastname@example.org
GOAL NY DEMANDS THE RESIGNATION OF BERGEN COUNTY
SHERIFF MICHAEL SAUDINO
New York, New York – September 20, 2018. The Gay Officers Action League of New York (“GOAL NY”) demands the resignation of Bergen County Sheriff, Michael Saudino, following the release of recordings in which Saudino is heard disparaging people based on their race and religion.
On Thursday, September 20, WNYC broke a story that Saudino had allegedly been caught on tape uttering disgusting and racist remarks, which ranged from attacking groups based on ethnicity to mocking the bona fides of the Attorney General of New Jersey, Gurbir Grewal, the first Sikh to serve as the highest law enforcement official in any state.
Shortly after WNYC ran the story, Saudino issued a short apology for the remarks, tacitly confirming that he was, in fact, the speaker on the recordings.
“At a time when people are routinely questioning the ability of the criminal justice system to function in a fair and impartial manner, we cannot afford one more moment under the leadership of Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino,” said Brian Downey, President of GOAL NY.
“In my capacity, I and GOAL NY must speak up for LGBTQ people from within the halls of our criminal justice institutions. We feel the same pain and outrage as those targeted by his remarks, and it’s our obligation to ensure people know there are voices from the inside that condemn these sentiments and fight against prejudice wherever it is and whenever we see it.”
These recordings are not the first brush with bigotry in the public eye for Saudino. In February 2018, GOAL NY and partner groups hosted a protest on the steps of the Bergen County courthouse to raise awareness that Saudino never extended a single effort to investigate claims by or offer assistance to one of his own officers, Andrew Kara, who was the victim of sustained harassment and discrimination due to his sexual orientation. Other videos also available online show Saudino sitting idly by at events his office sponsored that hosted speakers who spewed homophobic and transphobic remarks. Following those events, Saudino’s office never issued apologies to the LGBTQ community or condemned such remarks.
Downey added, “The real victims here are marginalized people: queer people, people of color, and others that feel that the cards are stacked against them. Nothing will change for them while this man continues hold office. Michael Saudino must go.”