Utah Assistant Attorney General Steven Wuthrich apologized after telling a Salt Lake City council member to "kindly die and go to hell" in an expletive-laden email, claiming that the city legislator disturbed his nap on Saturday.
Darin Mano, Salt Lake City’s first Asian American council member, told NBC News Wednesday that he was “shocked” and “disturbed” to read the prosecutor’s angry email when he returned home Saturday night after knocking on doors for his city council campaign.
“I will do everything in my power to see you never get elected to any office higher than dog catcher,” Wuthrich wrote in his email to Mano. “I hate you. I hate your family. I hate your solicitors. I hate your contributors. I hate your sponsors. Kindly die and go to hell motherf-----!!!!”
Wuthrich issued an apology about the fiery email late Tuesday afternoon.
"Last Saturday I was awakened from a nap and reacted with undue anger based solely on the interruption to my tranquility," Wuthrich said in a statement. "Since then I have regretted the ferocity and language of that email. My words were uncivil and unprofessional."
“From me personally, I apologize to Salt Lake City Councilman Darin Mano and his family. I never wished harm to Mr. Mano, his family or anyone associated with him. No parent, spouse or child should be subjected to such emotional outbursts. I am deeply sorry,” he said.
Mano, who was appointed to fill the vacancy left by Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall in January 2020, will be on the ballot for the first time in November. While he accepted the apology, Mano said Wuthrich had yet to reach out to him or his team about the email.
“It was an inappropriate response, particularly from a public official,” he said.
Wuthrich did not immediately respond to a question about whether he contacted Mano personally.
Mano said he felt obligated to publicly share the email because of the rise in hate crimes against Asian American communities across the country.
In a Facebook post, Mano wrote: “As an Asian American and member of the LGBTQ+ community, I must stand up against hate speech and call it out when I see it.”
Mano acknowledged that the email didn’t name or target his identity, but said “it felt personal” because Wuthrich mentioned his family, who was shown on the flyer left at the prosecutor’s home. In photos of the flyer, the council member said he is a person of color and can be seen in photos with his partner and four children.
In his initial email, Wuthrich said he had an “unwanted solicitation” sign on his door. Mano said he saw the sign, but clarified that “solicitation and campaigning are not the same thing.”
“Our understanding of the law is that campaigning is protected under the First Amendment — that's why we were particularly shocked because one would think that the assistant attorney general would know the difference,” he said.
In his statement, Wuthrich sent Mano his best wishes.
“I am taking steps to examine my reaction and find ways to ensure nothing like this ever happens again,” he said.
Mano added he holds no bitter feelings toward the prosecutor and hopes that he can learn from this experience.
“The best possible outcome is for everyone who hears this story to just remember that we need to treat each other with kindness and respect — regardless of our identities,” he said.