The longtime head of Ocean City's Beach Patrol may be disciplined for an email instructing employees to use the locker room that "corresponds to your DNA."
Capt. Butch Arbin wrote in an email to dozens of patrol members Sunday, "If you're NOT SURE go to Target."
The retailer's policy allows transgender customers to use the restrooms that match their gender identity.
Town spokeswoman Jessica Waters provided the email to FOX 5 DC on Wednesday.
She called the message "unprofessional and unacceptable."
"This email was in poor taste, but it's not reflective of the Town of Ocean City employees," she said. "It's disappointing to see something that's so inappropriate to be shared and sent to begin with."
Arbin didn't return messages seeking comment Wednesday.
But he told staff members in an email Tuesday morning after he started receiving calls from the media that he wasn't trying to make a political statement about transgender people. He apologized, saying he was only responding to female employees' complaints about men who aren't transgender using women's staff-only changing facilities out of convenience.
"I used humor to make the point. However, this is not the same issue that has been in the news," he said in the email. "I was ONLY looking out for the women of the patrol and was not attempting to put down any group or individual, only maintaining a nice facility for the women who choose to use a gender specific facility."
In a follow-up email a little over an hour later, he repeated the apology, calling Sunday's email a "careless attempt at humor."