SANDY, Utah (ABC 4 News) - She simply wanted to make salsa, but while trying to raise money online for her new business a Sandy woman got a shock - a rude, and seemingly racist, email from a Salt Lake County government employee.
Linnaea Mendoza started her salsa business, Salsitas Mendoza, just a year ago.
"I entered into the Taylorsville days with some salsa that I made and canned and it just took off from there,” explained Mendoza.
Her salsa is now in several local stores and restaurants. It's doing so well she and her husband even opened a store front in Sandy. The only problem is there's no kitchen.
Mendoza said, "In order to make this commercially we have to rent a kitchen and it’s only available grave yard shifts.”
They'd like to make the salsa at their store, but they need a $12,000 dollar commercial hood first. So Linnaea started a Kickstarter page where people could donate money. To promote the fundraising efforts, her sister posted an ad on another website under charity advertisements.
The feedback was positive until she got this email from a Salt Lake County government employee.
Jedd Bogenschutz wrote: firstname.lastname@example.org - "I respond to people in need in this section that really need it. After reading your ad I had to respond and say are you ... f...ing serious?? your ad had to be the most disgusting ad I have ever read, really taking donations so you can finish a kitchen so you south of the borders can get ahead, you can bet I would never buy any of your garbage, I do have some connections, board of health, business license, ect. I will make sure your (sic) on the up and up."
Mendoza told ABC 4 News, "What his personal views are on people's race and religion that is none of my business. What offends me, makes me really upset, is that he used a government email address to post racial remarks."
We couldn't believe it either when we saw the comments so we went to the county assessor's office where Bogenschutz works, but he wasn't there. We read Bogenschutz's email to the supervisor who promised an investigation.
Chris Stavros, Statistical Division Director Salt Lake County Assessor’s Office said, "I take any situation like this seriously. Of course I will look into it, and we don't obviously…the remarks were not very tasteful and inappropriate so we'll look into that.">
Linnaea hopes that actually happens. "Beyond the racial component, what offends me is he's boasting his position with a state job to threaten my small business.”
Before going to air we did hear back from the county assessor’s office. Stavros told ABC 4 News Bogenschutz is an exemplary employee who has been with the county for the last 25 years. He said the internal investigation was complete and Bogenschutz would be facing disciplinary action although he wouldn’t say what that would entail.
You can count on ABC 4 news to stay on top of this story.
If you would like to learn more about Salsitas Mendoza log on to:http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1681904910/close-to-success-1-last-piece-and-our-kitchen-is-c?play=1&ref=search