Racist, offensive words found hundreds of times on computers owned by the City of Racine

RACINE (WITI) -- Racist words, so offensive we cannot say them or show them on television have supposedly been found on city of Racine computers. It's the latest to come out of a federal lawsuit that claims white City of Racine officials discriminated against minority business owners.

They are some of the worst words you can think of -- words so inflammatory and offensive we cannot say or show them on television. The ones we can say include: monkey, ghetto, bribe, kickback and "those people." Words like those, including the "n-word" were found hundreds of times on computers owned by the city of Racine since 2009.

"None of that surprises me. I told them that's what they would find," Vince Bobot said.

Bobot was one of the first lawyers to get involved in this case. His clients are African-American men who came to him for help. They claimed the city of Racine was going after their business licenses illegally.

"I know a lot of people don't believe it happened -- but it did," Bobot said.

In a federal lawsuit filed last year, six minority business owners joined forces to sue the city of Racine and Racine's Mayor John Dickert -- claiming they were the victims of an elaborate plot to drive minority-owned businesses out of Racine.

"To this day I can't figure out why this litigation hasn't been resolved because what they did was wrong," Bobot said.

To prove their case, lawyers have been looking for evidence of discrimination and corruption on city computers. That's where they found the racist words like the "n-word," which showed up 436 times.

"The mere fact that there are as many as there are, the numbers suggest there may be some fire to this smoke," Michael F. Hart with Kohler & Hart S.C. said.

New court documents filed this week claim Mayor Dickert was overheard saying "it's time for these (n-word) to go back to Waukegan."

"#1 - Not only did I not say it, #2 - that's not who I am," Dickert said.

Dickert says the woman who allegedly overheard him say that is a political adversary who has been working against him for years. He says this is all just a political ploy to smear his name and his campaign a mere 48 hours after an election.

"To be honest with you, I'm pretty upset. For someone to say something like that -- is despicable," Dickert said.

Dickert says he can't comment on the ongoing lawsuit, but insists there is no smoking gun when it comes to the racist words that were found on city computers. For him, the lawsuit is political gamesmanship.

"The problem is, this is costing Racine taxpayers money, that's what it's doing. And we're trying to get good things done in the city of Racine, and I know they want to take us off of that, but they're not going to," Dickert said.

Where these racist words found on city of Racine computers came from exactly remains a mystery. They may have been in emails or they may have been in police reports or court records. There is no clear proof the city officials who have been sued actually used any of those words.

The city of Racine has issued this statement to FOX6News:

"The City of Racine is aware of the statements made in a recent Motion filed by the Plaintiffs’ attorneys in the Holmes, et al., v. Dickert, et al., litigation pending in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. The allegations regarding the hits for individual search terms found in certain City employees’ emails have been presented out of the context necessary to understand the terms’ usage."

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