Noah Phillips apologized to supporters Wednesday via Twitter for a racist and sexist email plumbed from his county-run email account that could threaten his campaign for Sacramento County District Attorney in the race's final days.
"Over two years ago, my 70-year-old uncle sent these emails. I should have challenged them," the tweet read. "Instead, I am embarrassed to say, I didn't. I failed to change a narrative with a close relative because it was simply easier not to."
The email detailing what men can expect sexually by the third date with women of various ethnic groups was sent to Phillips by his uncle in February 2016 and was recently discovered by District Attorney's officials as part of an internal DA's investigation into defense attorneys' allegations of prosecutorial misconduct at trial in the 2016 murder of a south Sacramento man.
Phillips has denied the misconduct allegations which have become campaign fodder for his rival, incumbent District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert.
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"I don’t know if this is appropriate to send to your workplace but I know of no other," John Phillips wrote in the 2016 email.
In the email, photo stills of women captioned "Anglo," "Irish," "Chinese," "Mexican," "Jewish" and "Arab" are displayed with accompanying captions that trade on racist and sexist stereotypes.
Noah Phillips responded: "This is work appropriate and for that matter appropriate anywhere! Ah the luck of the Irish!!"
A contrite Phillips on Wednesday said he takes "full responsibility for my emails and inappropriate response. I sincerely apologize for my encouragement of this kind of behavior and for my own participation in it."
On Monday and again Tuesday, Phillips, the DA's principal criminal attorney, now locked in an increasingly heated campaign with Schubert, said the anonymous release of the email was the work of a dirty tricks campaign by Schubert operatives.
"It's as low as politics goes," Phillips said. "That’s where we’re at….It appears that somebody has hacked into my email account," Phillips said Monday, alleging that people affiliated with Schubert were "using public resources to hack into my account."
He also offered an apology in a statement Tuesday, saying he was part of a "callous and crude" local law enforcement culture encouraged by Schubert as the county's chief prosecutor.
On Wednesday, Phillips struck a slightly different tone, again vowing to change the culture of the DA's office.
"I make no excuses for my past behavior, but I assure you, it is my mission to fundamentally change what business as usual means in law enforcement ... starting with myself."
A hearing on a new trial motion stemming from the allegations is set for June 8.