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Indiana transportation employee suspended for ‘nasty’ email to NYT columnist

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) suspended one of its employees without pay after a New York Times op-ed columnist posted a screenshot of an email he received.

The screenshot shows the email was written by David Brewer, manager of external audit at INDOT, according to WXIN. The message starts by attacking the surname of the columnist, Charles M. Blow.

“Did your surname come from you being a cocaine addict or just from the fact that your opinion BLOWS?” the screenshot of the email reads.

The email goes on to say Blow has “no basis in reality” and “should take a few writing classes in the English language before writing again.”

In closing, Brewer writes, “Your grasp of the language makes your written opinion less trusted and perceived as coming from an ignorant person.”

Thursday afternoon, Blow posted the screenshot and tagged INDOT on Facebook.

“I received this from one of your officials, during office hours, USING HIS .GOV email address. Shouldn’t David be working instead of shooting off nasty emails? Is this how you use tax dollars?” he asked.

About four hours later, INDOT shared Blow’s post on their page and said the employee had been suspended.

The post reads: “An email of this nature is an inappropriate use of INDOT resources. Further, the language used is unacceptable and does not reflect the values of INDOT. The employee responsible has been suspended without pay immediately and the matter is under review.”

Blow did not specifically say what prompted Brewer’s email. His most recent column is titled “The Folly of the Protest Vote.”