The mayor of Piedmont, Calif., has resigned amid outcry over a series of controversial posts he made about Black Lives Matter, Democrats and transgender individuals on his Facebook page earlier this month.
Mayor Jeff Wieler handed in his letter of resignation to the city administrator Sunday, Aug. 27, the San Francisco Gate reported. His withdrawal came just one day before City Council members were set to vote on whether to remove him over the offensive social media posts.
The backlash against Wieler was swift after local resident Conna McCarthy read some of his alleged Facebook comments aloud during an Aug. 21 City Council meeting, according to the newspaper. In the posts, Wieler asserted that “Black Lives Matter encourages cop killing,” “Democrats are the plantation slave masters of today,” and that “Transgenders are mentally ill.”
Council members Jen Cavenaugh and Tim Rood said they were inundated with complaints from hundreds of residents who were upset or offended by Wieler’s posts – many of them calling for his removal as mayor. Despite his stepping down, Wieler said he will remain a member of the City Council until his term is up November 2018.
Cavenaugh, Rood and their colleagues don’t have the power to force him to quit the council.
“I realize my continuation in the position is no longer tenable for the City Council,” Wieler wrote in his letter. “After a quarter century of volunteering for Piedmont in various roles, I regret the impact this has had upon the City [that] I love and the men and women in the staff who do such a find job for our citizens.”
“I am proud of what I accomplished as a civic volunteer,” he added. “I am less proud of how my service as Mayor is ending.”
In a separate statement, the now-ousted mayor acknowledged that his Facebook posts were “inappropriate” and that the entire ordeal was “embarrassing.”
“Going forward, I will restrict my Facebook posts to pictures of our pets and vacation pictures. Fortunately, I have never tweeted!” he said, poking fun at President Donald Trump.
This isn’t the first time a public figure has landed in hot water over comments made concerning the Black Lives Matter movement, however. Earlier this month, a sports radio host in Portland was fired after suggesting that BLM activists be run over by cars.
Vice Mayor Bob McBain is now the acting mayor of Piedmont, according to the San Francisco Gate.