Kansas official who said he was part of 'master race' resigns

A Kansas county commissioner whose comment saying he was part of "the master race" sparked backlash nationwide said he is resigning from his post.

In a resignation letter obtained by NBC News to Leavenworth County Clerk Janet Klasinski, now-former county commissioner Louis Klemp said he will be stepping down from his post as of 9 a.m. Tuesday.

"In order to maintain a focus and prioritize the needs of the county I have made a decision to resign," wrote Klemp. "I regret my recent comment made during a Leavenworth County Commission Meeting and for the negative backlash to the community."

Klemp's decision follows various calls from community members following a conversation he had on Nov. 13 with Triveece Penelton, a black city planner, at board meeting. According to video of the meeting, the commissioner had disagreed with Penelton's proposed development plan and claimed she shouldn't think he was picking on her because they were "part of the master race."

Leavenworth County Administrator addressed Klemp's remarks Friday saying that the comments were "not a reference to Nazis" and that the commissioner had been referring to the shared tooth gap he and the woman had shared.

Related: Donald Trump’s most offensive tweets about Mexico

11 PHOTOS
Donald Trump's most offensive tweets about Mexico
See Gallery
Donald Trump's most offensive tweets about Mexico
Throughout his 2016 campaign, Trump offered up some pretty offensive statements about the nation of Mexico and its people...
We have got to get our Marine out of that disgusting Mexican jail. Would be so easy if we had a real leader. One tough phone call & he's out
The Oscars were a great night for Mexico & why not—they are ripping off the US more than almost any other nation.
I have a lawsuit in Mexico’s corrupt court system that I won but so far can’t collect. Don’t do business with Mexico!
The Mexican legal system is corrupt, as is much of Mexico. Pay me the money that is owed me now - and stop sending criminals over our border
I hope the Mexican judge is more honest than the Mexican businessmen who used the court system to avoid paying me the money they owe me.
Mexico's court system corrupt.I want nothing to do with Mexico other than to build an impenetrable WALL and stop them from ripping off U.S.
I love the Mexican people, but Mexico is not our friend. They're killing us at the border and they're killing us on jobs and trade. FIGHT!
Can you envision Jeb Bush or Hillary Clinton negotiating with 'El Chapo', the Mexican drug lord who escaped from prison? ....
El Chapo and the Mexican drug cartels use the border unimpeded like it was a vacuum cleaner, sucking drugs and death right into the U.S.
We must build a great wall between Mexico and the United States! https://t.co/05SjuRJFbf
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
​​​​​​​

"On several occasions over the past year, Mr. Klemp has made reference that those with a gap in their front teeth are members of the master race," administrator Mark Loughry said.

But the statement still caused outrage, including from Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer who had called for Klemp's resignation on Saturday.

While Klemp had told NBC Kansas City affiliate KSHB-TV that his comment was a joke, the commissioner eventually accepted calls for his ousting.

"My attempts at identifying a similarity (space between our teeth) with a presenter were well-meaning but misinterpreted by some and definitely not racially-motivated," Klemp wrote in his letter. "I have reached out to the presenter and extended my regret and support."

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.