RIVERDALE, Calif. (AP) -- A prominent San Joaquin Valley farmer has been forced to step down as head of a major hospital board after making a racist statement about President Barack Obama in an email.

The Fresno Bee (http://bit.ly/17oUnz8 ) reported on Monday that Mark Borba used the term last month in an email exchange with Westlands Water District Manager Tom Birmingham that was copied to other farmers. Borba criticized the Obama administration, saying it had not secured enough water for farmers.

According to the Bee, he referred to the president as "Blackie."

Fellow board members at Community Medical Centers voted to remove Borba as chair in early March after receiving a copy of the email.

Borba has since apologized. In another e-mail obtained by the Bee, he said his comments were hurtful and he was embarrassed by them.

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Information from: The Fresno Bee, http://www.fresnobee.com



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