CRANSTON, Rhode Island — A city official in Cranston, Rhode Island has resigned, after she was accused of getting a man to dress up as an elderly woman for a photo op at a press conference.
She had lipstick, earrings and a wig, but the woman wearing a name tag that said “Cranston Senior Home Resident” was really a man — dressed up for the press conference and photo op.
He stood near Mayor Allan Fung, who apparently initially had no idea “she” was a “he.”
Cranston, Rhode Island’s Senior Services Director, Sue Stenhouse, rolled out the “Snow Angel” program last week. It allows teens to get involved by helping the elderly shovel snow.
There was some planning involved ahead of the press conference. Snow from an ice rink was brought in, along with plenty of shovelers to stand front-and-center.
The only thing missing was actual senior citizens.
As it turned out, a decision was made to dress up the senior center’s van driver, David Roberts, who would then pose as an elderly woman.
What’s unclear is why this happened in the first place.
“He said to me ‘I need to have gray hair, curly,'” Elaine Mancuso said.
Mancuso helped to style David Roberts at her hair salon in Cranston.
“Dave usually drives the senior citizens into the salon, so he says to me ‘Elaine, do you have a wig that I could borrow? I have to get dressed as a senior,'” Mancuso said.
After seeing the press conference…
“I said ‘oh my God — he wanted it for that.’ I probably would have given him a better wig if I had known!” Mancuso said.
The gaffe cost Stenhouse her job — although the city said she officially resigned.
Stenhouse didn’t want to talk about the stunt when she was reached by a news team at her home.