A city councilor in Everett, Massachusetts, is facing backlash after messages he sent to city workers containing racist imagery surfaced.
The city is now investigating the conduct of Anthony DiPierro and looking into any other inappropriate communication by city employees and officials.
DiPierro is accused of sending memes to his colleagues that include racist slurs. He apologized in a statement posted on social media, writing, in part, "I am ashamed, disappointed and embarrassed, but committed to improving."
He also wrote that he has been "working with Human Resources an The City's Director of Equity and Inclusion to identify ways to heal both as an individual and community. I will be enrolling in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion training and I will take steps to better understand and be a better person."
Get Boston local news, weather forecasts, lifestyle and entertainment stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC Boston’s newsletters.
Cathy Draine, the director of diversity, equity and inclusion for Everett, could not be reached for comment Thursday.
DiPierro's promises did not satisfy Superintendent Priya Tahiliani of Everett Public Schools, who added her voice this week to those calling on DiPierro to resign.
In-depth news coverage of the Greater Boston Area.
"In defense of our students, staff and families, I condemn the actions of Everett City Councilor Anthony DiPierro and ask that he resign from office, effective immediately," Tahiliani said during the Everett School Committee meeting Monday. "Councilor DiPierro, I ask that you take responsibility for what you have done, that you step down from your seat, and that you spend the next year working on yourself and making reparations."
DiPierro heard directly from residents at the most recent city council meeting, where Janice Lark became emotional during her public comment.
"As a woman of color I have to deal with racist and ignorant people all the time," she said. "I don't want to hear this stuff by a person who is supposed to be representing my interests in city council."
"It hurts," said Guerline Alcy, a former Everett city council candidate, during her public comment. "We know things go under the rug. Yes, they love Black people when it comes to elections, but when something happens that really hurts our feelings, everybody stays mute, and it's not acceptable."
Antonio Amayo, executive director of La Comunidad, a non-profit serving immigrant communities in Everett, also joined in calling for the councilor's resignation.
"Our community deserves a person who will represent the issues that we are having over here in Everett, working on making a better Everett, not making those racist comments," he said.
The city's investigation is ongoing, according to the chief of staff to Mayor Carlo DeMaria.
"The City is investigating the conduct of Councilor DiPierro. The scope of the investigation is not limited to his conduct and is intended to identify and address inappropriate conduct and communications by any city official or employee," Erin C. Deveney said in a statement.
Calls to DiPierro were not returned.