Worcester Mayor Says He Never Made the Comments He Just Apologized For

This is getting strange.

Photo by Chelsea Ouellet/Discover Central Mass on Flickr/Creative Commons

Photo by Chelsea Ouellet/Discover Central Mass on Flickr/Creative Commons

Worcester Mayor Joseph Petty apologized Wednesday for comments he made on live microphone, calling the nearly one thousand protesters gathered at City Hall to protest President Donald Trump’s Muslim travel ban “freakin’ morons” and “morons, morons, morons.”

“First of all, let me apologize for my remarks,” Petty wrote in a statement. “I had just witnessed a thousand people outside city hall delivering a positive and respectful message, and I did not want their voices to be lost. For anyone who has been caught on a hot mic, it’s embarrassing. I was caught in a moment of frustration and I was wrong.”


Now Petty is changing his story, denying ever making the remarks he just apologized for.

“I’m thinking to myself, ‘Maybe I did say it,’” Petty told Worcester magazine. “And I maybe rushed putting out the apology because I was worried about the people I hurt.”

Instead, it was activist Rich Aucoin of the group Act Now Worcester, who held a joint press conference Thursday with Petty to set the record straight.

“I’m the one who said the word ‘stupid,’ I’m the one who said ‘friggin morons, morons, morons, morons,'” said Aucoin, who hasn’t always agreed with Petty on the issues.

“From the mayor’s quick apology we can only conclude that he was thinking and saying the same exact thing as most other civilized people in the room were thinking and saying,” a mass email sent by Act Now Worcester reads. “That these protesters were rude and obnoxious. Extremely inappropriate on several levels. And during the prayer, for God’s sake!”