Breaking News
More () »

Arizona lawmaker says snarky email about teacher funds wasn't meant to be sarcastic

In response to a question from 12 News' Joe Dana, Townsend said those words were sincere.

PHOENIX - An Arizona lawmaker says her comment on funds for teacher pay raises coming from taking money away from the "developmentally disabled" and releasing the prison population was not meant sarcastically.

On Tuesday, a screenshot of an email sent by Rep. Kelly Townsend, R-Mesa, in response to a constituent's plea for more money for teachers went viral for its tone.

In the Facebook post, Krystle Mathews said that her husband wrote to lawmakers about his concern for the state's lack of funding for public education. Although Townsend was the only one to respond to her husband's email, Mathews said she was outraged by the "appalling" and "rude" response.

Townsend's response read:

I'm sure we can take it from the correctional officers pay who make minimum wage in some cases, release some of the prison population, take it from the developmentally disabled and close adult homes from the disabled, freeze Alzheimer's research, take it from Veteran's services, dental services for the underserved, desperately needed road funds, the university funding, and put another freeze on Kids Care health insurance. We'll find it somehow.

In a response to a question from 12 News' Joe Dana, Townsend said those words were sincere.

"I indeed sent the email when the proposal to sweep all remaining funds from the budget was presented to us," Townsend said in a Facebook post. "I explained to him that I was not being sarcastic, this was my initial understanding as to where the funding would be taken from."

This all happened on the same day Townsend threatened to sue teachers who walkout Thursday on behalf of people affected by a possible extended school year.

Before You Leave, Check This Out