The chief legislative aide to Philadelphia City Councilman W. Wilson Goode Jr. issued a "letter of apology" yesterday for flashing handwritten signs in City Council chambers comparing a Fox29 news reporter to the Ku Klux Klan.
In the letter addressed to Goode, Latrice Bryant said: "I apologize for my public, albeit silent, display of the handwritten signs. What I did was inappropriate and inexcusable."
On Sept. 18, during a Council meeting, Bryant held up notebook paper with the messages "Fox29 are racist" and "Jeff Cole KKK."
Bryant and Goode are black and reporter Jeff Cole is white.
On Tuesday Fox aired a report in which cameras followed Bryant on 10 days this summer, noting her arrival for work around lunch time on several days in which she reported arriving about 9 a.m.
The station taped Bryant, 36, who is paid $90,000 per year, and Goode leaving City Hall on July 7 about 12:30 p.m. then entering the at-large councilman's house.
Bryant left the house about three hours later, according to the report.
The Fox report said that on nine of the 10 days, Bryant's time sheets did not match her work hours.
As Fox29 tried to interview Goode last week, the councilman pointedly warned Cole: "Don't you ever disrespect a black woman like that again."
Bryant's letter to Goode said, "I sincerely apologize to you, to City Council President Anna Verna, to all other City Council members and staffers . . . and especially to all residents and taxpayers of Philadelphia."
Bryant's letter was accompanied by one from her lawyer, Michael Coard, that stated:
"I agree that my client's reaction was inappropriate. I explained to her that the appropriate response would have been to do exactly what she later did. And that was to contact an attorney who could determine whether or not Fox29's relentless paparazzi-like conduct . . . was libelous and slanderous, thereby warranting the filing of a defamation lawsuit."