R.I. councilor under fire for 'vulgar' gesture
WARWICK, R.I. (WHDH) -- A town councilor in Rhode Island is facing criticism, for a gesture she made during a meeting.
West Warwick mom Amy Ortiz is still upset with the rowdy town council meeting about cutting after-school activities -- where, at one point, several people had to be escorted out and where town councilor Filomena Gustafson gave an offensive gesture.
"I think it was absolutely vulgar," Ortiz said. Ortiz says she even wrote the town council a letter after it happened.
"She was, at that meeting, representing the town of West Warwick. And this is the town of West Warwick making that gesture to its own taxpayers,” Ortiz said. “And that's not acceptable at all."
Ortiz tells 7news Gustafson wrote back. She read part of that e-mail:
"'There is no vulgarity. I was being trenton,' which I believe is supposed to be threatened, 'So, I meant to say get the hell out of here.'"
Gustafson did not want to explain her side of the story on camera, but says she was being threatened by members of the crowd to have her face punched in.
She said: "I think my emotions were running so high to see those children up there blaming it on the council, when we had nothing to do with it."
She also pointed to a Supreme Court justice, who she says has used the gesture in the past to a reporter, and all the good she does for the town.
"I think that it seems that she thinks other things that she's done in this town allow her to treat people this way," Ortiz said.
The town did reach an agreement this week to keep funding school sports. That deal still needs to be approved by the department of education and a superior court judge.