INDOT manager suspended over insulting email to NYT writer sent from state government account

Posted at 10:08 PM, Sep 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-22 23:17:51-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- A manager for the Indiana Department of Transportation was suspended without pay Thursday for apparently sending an inflammatory message to a New York Times columnist through his email.

INDOT announced the suspension of External Audit Manager David E. Brewer Wednesday night via Twitter and its Facebook page. INDOT's post called the message an "inappropriate use of INDOT resources" and said the language used was "unacceptable."

"The employee responsible has been suspended without pay immediately and the matter is under review," INDOT wrote.

The message came to the agency's attention when NYT columnist Charles M. Blow tweeted a photo of the email, which he says he received during business hours and which came from Brewer's official state government email account.

In the message, Brewer asks Blow – a black opinion writer who authors a liberal-leaning column for the New York Times – if he got his last name "from you being a cocaine addict or just from the fact that your opinion BLOWS?"

While the email doesn't reference a specific article Brewer objected to, Blow has written extensively over the past several months about Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and his relationship with black voters. Recent headlines include: "Trump, Grand Wizard of Birtherism;" "Trump's Troubles in the Black Belt;" "Trump Reflects White Male Fragility;" and "Why Blacks Loathe Trump."

It wasn't immediately clear how long Brewer's suspension would last. INDOT said the matter is "under review."

See the full email below: