Jim Gile, Saline County Commissioner, blows up his career with racial slur

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Jim Gile, right, is trying to jury-rig a way to stay on the Saline County Board of Commissioners.
  • Jim Gile, right, is trying to jury-rig a way to stay on the Saline County Board of Commissioners.

Saline County Commissioner Jim Gile might have some free time on his hands soon. Gile, in his first term, became Internet famous today after it was reported that he used a racial slur during a commission work session.

The county Board of Commissioners was debating whether it should hire an architect to draw up changes to a county building. During the discussion, Gile said hiring someone was preferable to "n - - - rigging it." Not surprisingly, he has spent the last couple of days apologizing and explaining that he's not a racist.

Gile then used an antiquated term when explaining to The Salina Journal that he isn't racist, but he grew up around the term. "I am not a prejudiced person," Gile told the paper. "I have built Habitat homes for colored people."

He also told the paper, "I had it [jury-rigged] on my brain and this came out. It was a bad choice of words. I'm sorry."

The Journal also spoke with Commission Chairman Randy Duncan, who said, "[T]here is not a racist bone in his body. He would give the shirt off his back to help anyone, no matter their race or status."

The AP reports that two citizens at Tuesday's commission meeting asked him to resign. Gile read an apology and said he wouldn't step down.

If you want to read something good about Salina, check out David Hudnall's fantastic story about Acoustic Sounds, a record-pressing facility in the town.

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