Rhode Island Official Resigns After Dressing Male Bus Driver as Elderly Woman

Sure, why not?

Image: WJAR-TV via AP

Image: WJAR-TV via AP

The director of senior services in Cranston, Rhode Island has stepped down, after it was discovered she had dressed a male bus driver from the city’s Senior Enrichment Center as an elderly woman for a press conference.

Pause, reread that first paragraph, maybe go for a walk, and let that all sink in before proceeding.

Sue Stenhouse resigned following the January 5 unveiling of a new “student snow shoveling brigade” initiative, in which local high schoolers would help clear sidewalks and driveways from Cranston’s low-income and elderly residents. A great program, sure, save for the crudely disguised male bus driver in drag hunched beside Stenhouse and Mayor Allan W. Fung.

WJAR-TV did its journalistic due diligence and determined that the old woman was neither a “Cranston Senior Home Resident,” as her name tag would suggest, nor a woman. It was Dave Roberts, the bus driver, wearing a wig, glasses, earrings, and lipstick.

The Providence Journal asked the mayor’s chief of staff if he could confirm the old women was, in fact, not an old woman, he replied, “I really can’t.” When WJAR-TV showed up at Stenhouse’s Warwick home, she first told a reporter to “go away,” then added, “I’ve been in a meeting all night being a great public servant for the city of Warwick…Now, I get this (expletive.) And you guys did not reach out to me. And that was a big lie on the news.”

Meanwhile, hair salon owner Elaine Mancuso told WJAR-TV she had sold the wig to Roberts. ‘‘He says to me, ‘Elaine, do you have a wig that I could borrow? I have to get dressed as a senior,’’’ she said. ‘‘I said, ‘Oh, my God. He wanted it for that.’ I probably would have given him a better wig if I had known.’’