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Barrington board requested to probe racial slur charges against town housing official

 GREAT BARRINGTON—The chairman of the Housing Authority is asking the select board to remove a member of the Housing Authority who allegedly used racist slurs towards tenants.

 A Housing Authority special board meeting intended to discuss the alleged misconduct of board member Jackie Sinico was ended abruptly when two of the four board members walked out of the meeting in protest, saying that the proceedings violated open meeting laws.

At the special meeting, board chairman James Mercer responded to allegations that Sinico used racial slurs while in the Great Barrington Housing Authority (GBHA) main office last August, according to a signed statement submitted to the board last month. In the statement, Jackie Sinico referred to Hispanic tenants as s***s and one specific African-American tenant using the n-word.

The incident was reported by the housing authority’s maintenance supervisor, Rich Phair, and his assistant, Scott Sheridan.

The statement, dated Aug. 22, notes that a handwritten report of the incident was submitted to the previous executive director, Vera Cartier. Last November, Cartier resigned from her role as executive director.

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