Recorded Phone Call Sparks Controversy For City Official

Local GovernmentYouTubeRob Murphy

It took eight years for it to surface, but it finally has and the Cranford Police Chief is now asking how did this happen?

It was back in 2004 that Eric Mason became Cranford's Police Chief. Just a few days into his new position, he had a phone conversation with his son,Chris, from his office telephone.

Chris asked him : " How are things going?"

Mason answered " So far, so good, didn't have to kill any white people."

The phone call didn't end there.

"Are you enjoying it," asked his son, Chris.

"Yea, I'm the H.N.I.C, (Head N***** In Charge) man," replied Mason.

How do we know this now, eight years after the phone call?

Well, Mason had no idea that someone was recording the conversation and would eventually leak it to YouTube.

The timing is ironic. The leaked call comes just a day after Mason resigned as Chief to accept a new position, Town Administrator.

The comments during that call have sparked outrage in the small New Jersey town. PIX11 caught up with two guys who were sipping coffee and debating the call at a local coffee shop.

"He's a town official reflecting Cranford and he's always on duty whether he knows it or not," said Pete Collins.

"I wasn't outraged, I think it was an informal discussion with his son," said Rob Murphy.

While the two of them debate how offensive the call may or may not be, PIX11 tried to talk to Mason, but instead, were told he was in a meeting twice and unable to comment.

Seems like the Mayor, Deputy Mayor, Police Chief and Clerk were all in a meeting too and unable to comment.

Back to our debating friends at the coffee shop- seems like the two of them would at least like to hear some kind of public apology. No word from Mason or town officials if that will happen.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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