ARLINGTON -- Arlington Mayor Robert Cluck is defending his use of the word "Mexican" after a city employee alleges Cluck used the word in a derogatory manner.
Mayor Cluck tells News 8 he did use the word "Mexican" while confirming where council member Robert Rivera was going to be the night of a February 7 council meeting.
Mayor Cluck said he was confirming a "Mexican restaurant".
A city employee has filed an ethics complaint with the city of Arlington, saying the Mayor was heard actually saying "Oh, a bunch of Mexicans?" in response to Rivera saying he was headed to a conference of Latino leaders in Washington D.C.
The complaint says Rivera was sitting in his office with the door open and the conversation was loud enough for all outside to hear. The complaint says Arlington Fire Department employee David Crow told the Mayor, "I don't think you can say that." The Mayor was then heard, according to the complaint, saying "What? Mexican?"
The Arlington city manager's office is not commenting on the matter today.
Council member Robert Rivera told News 8 "It's unfortunate any employee heard the comments and was offended. This should not be a distraction from the focus of making Arlington a greater city."
Mayor Cluck says he is preparing a more formal response to the allegations against him. He tells News 8 he would release a statement later this afternoon.