NEW YORK (AP) — A Las Vegas man has been charged with threatening to kill New York lawyers representing Fox News employees who have brought racial discrimination claims against the network.

Joseph Amico pleaded not guilty Friday in Manhattan to charges of aggravated harassment and making terrorist threats. His lawyer, Todd Spodek, says "it's very easy for words to be misunderstood and hysteria to take place" in today's heated political climate.

Police say the 46-year-old Amico called the firm Wigdor LLP multiple times on April 26, slurring black people and threatening to blow up the office because of its lawsuits against Fox News. Founding partner Douglas Wigdor tells The New York Times he was shocked and worried after Amico threatened to kill his family.

Fox News has said it takes discrimination complaints seriously and that the company has acted appropriately and lawfully.

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