NOWHERE TO HIDE: The Monroe County Legislature in Upstate New York is a place where the politics are partisan and the 29 county legislators scrap fiercely. But some say that last month, during a roll call vote, someone in the room went too far — using the painful and socially unacceptable word "retard."
Video from the meeting suggests the utterance was aimed at Democrat Steve Eckel, but it isn't clear who said it.
Democrats provided their tape, which shows Republican majority leader Dan Quatro fiddling with his microphone as the comment is heard, but when FOX News confronted him at his office, Quatro denied it was him.
"No it wasn't. ... I'm positive of that," he said.
Area residents with disabilities are outraged — stunned that anyone would use such a term in that way. This week, led by Bruce Darling of the Rochester Center for Disability Rights, they converged upon the county legislature.
"If you think someone is being an ass, just call them an ass," Darling said. "Don't bring us into the discussion."
For 90 minutes, members of Darling's group stood before the political body to explain how they had been hurt by the comment.
"All I want is respect," Deborah Duminuco said.
They came looking for an apology from the person who made the comment.
"Whoever said it, I would like it to be stopped," Jason Belicove said. "Please stop."
So far, they have yet to find out who made the comment, let alone receive an apology.