Emergency Management Director Resigns Over 'Insensitive' E-Mail

Bud Harper has resigned as director of the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management after an "inappropriate" joke e-mail he sent department employees was leaked to a Little Rock radio talk show host.

The e-mail, which Harper did not write but which he forwarded to ADEM staff members, was a facetious prayer that included references to illegal aliens and welfare recipients, according to a staff member who received it. The e-mail was sent out several weeks ago but apparently found its way to radio personality Pat Lynch earlier this week.

Gov. Mike Huckabee issued a statement Wednesday afternoon saying he had accepted Harper's apology and resignation, which were tendered late Tuesday evening, for the "insensitive and inappropriate e-mail.

"Mr. Harper has had a distinguished record with ADEM and has provided excellent leadership during numerous crises including major tornadoes, ice storms, floods, and the issues associated with homeland security in the aftermath of September 11, and I regret that his service with the state must end in this manner," Huckabee said.

"Nevertheless, the tone of the email was indefensible and the depiction of racial stereotypes was not only wrong, but is patently false regarding people of any ethnic heritage. We strive to demonstrate a sense of humor in this administration, but racial stereotyping by state leaders is simply not funny and must be consequenced."

Jack DuBose, who recently retired from the agency, has been named interim director until a permanent director can be hired.

Harper received a salary of $75,000.