The CEO of the Boys and Girls Club of Manatee County is in hot water after writing a memo that some say is racist.
A few weeks ago, the Boys and Girls Club of Manatee County was about to announce some job openings. CEO Marc Dosogne sent out an internal email, looking for qualified candidates who are driven, and can be role models.
But he was very descriptive, writing: “What I am not interested in, is potential candidates coming in with a lot of tattoos, face piercings, dreadlocks.”
He didn't want candidates who became pregnant while they were teenagers, and he didn't want anyone who battled drug or alcohol abuse.
He wrote, “I am also not interested in people who can't take care of themselves physically. Please do not send any applicants like that to the HR office, as you will be wasting their time, and ours.”
His wording has upset many people.
"I represent these people that he's talking about as an elected official. My constituents are very offended. I am offended!" said Charles Smith with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
Smith is a Palmetto city councilman and civil rights leader. He is urging the Boys and Girls club to fire Dosogne.
"He has put judgment on these individuals and put them in a category that they're not qualified based on something that has nothing to do with their qualifications,” Smith said.
Dosogne has been placed on administrative leave for two weeks. Board member Bob Spencer said the memo was inappropriate, but he says it doesn't reflect Dosogne's heart.
Spencer said, "Marc was trying to, in my opinion, trying to give young people a step over some impediments that might prevent them, people of all races, genders, from getting ahead in life,” said Spencer.
News Channel 8 spoke with Dosogne by phone.
“I think I used a wrong choice of words in trying to get my message across... if any of my words were offensive to anyone, it was not my intent and I apologize,” Dosogne told us.
Dosogne said over the course of his 32 year career with the Boys and Girls Club, he has hired many people with those traits. On the topic of young pregnancies, he said he has a lot of respect for single parents.
“We are all human. We’ve all made plenty of life mistakes…there is no perfect person,” he said.
“Positive role models can come from all sources of backgrounds and communities,” Dosogne continued. “We want to put the very best role models, skill sets and people in front of our young people, [so they can be] able to help them open the doors wide for opportunity.”
Dosogne is confident that the board will see that he did not mean any harm.
During his leave, board members will decide what to do next.