(TheBlaze/AP) — The mayor of a southeastern Ohio town has resigned over accusations that she repeatedly called a gay police officer “queer” in front of his colleagues and created a hostile work environment.
Jackie Welker, council president in the Village of Pomeroy, told The Associated Press that 78-year-old Mayor Mary McAngus submitted a letter of resignation Saturday.
“It just seems so absurd, even in our town in Appalachia, that this could still happen,” Welker remarked. “Hopefully this resignation will start the healing.”
Police Chief Mark Proffitt corroborated for the council last week that McAngus referred to Officer Kyle Calendine as “queer” in front of other officers and dispatchers.
At one point she reportedly said: “I don’t like a queer working for the village…I might be old-fashioned but I don’t like it.”
Profitt earlier warned the council that McAngus’ reported comments could open the village to a lawsuit.
Calendine, the officer in question, commented: “I’m an officer just like everyone else. I put my badge on every day and take the same risks…What I do during my 16 hours outside of work is nobody’s business.”
Calendine also claims the mayor said she didn’t want him promoted because of general “complaints,” but said he and Chief Proffitt “knew” her decision was because of his sexual orientation.
According to the Columbus Dispatch, the police chief stated Friday that the mayor’s behavior “appalls” him and that Calendine “shouldn’t have to work in a hostile work environment.”
McAngus did not immediately return a call for comment.
WSAZ 3 has more on the story, including an interview with Calendine: