A Florida town official is under fire after video of her making a Nazi salute and saying “Heil Hitler” during a public meeting last week came to light.
Marcia Radosevich made the gesture and infamous exclamation as part of her response to the powers of Wellington village staff members during the monthly Planning, Zoning & Adjustment Board meeting March 5.
Her gesture was directed at Tim Stillings, the village’s planning and development services director, regarding a proposal that would let village staff consider projects without committee approval and review, the Palm Beach Post reported.
“Who gets to make that decision? You?” Radosevich asked.
“Yes,” Stillings answered, after which Radosevich thrust her right arm into the air at a distinct 45-degree angle and said “Heil Hitler.”
There was audible shock from several in attendance at the meeting, including Stillings, who said, “Wow…wow…that might be a bit over the top, I think.”
Radosevich can be heard in the footage trying to smooth things over, saying “If I offended you, I apologize,” but the damage apparently has been done.
According to WPTV-TV in West Palm Beach, emails have been pouring in to village leaders calling for Radosevich’s removal. The village council is reportedly placing the issue on the agenda for its next meeting, scheduled for March 25.
But Councilman Matt Willhite, who appointed Radosevich in 2012, said the council doesn’t have the power to remove her.
“We don’t have the ability to kick people off [citizen advisory boards],” Willhite told the Post, adding that Radosevich could only be removed from the board if “she was to resign on her own.”
While Radosevich has not responded to requests for comment from several news outlets, Willhite said she expressed remorse to him about the incident.
“I think she was very upset with the runaround she felt she was getting and the answers she wasn’t getting,” Willhite told the Post. “I’m guessing emotions got ahead of her, and she did something inappropriate — she knows that, I know that, we all know that.”
Rabbi Norman Klein of Temple Beth Torah in Wellington told WPTV the incident “calls into question [Radosevich’s] ability to lead. Hitler wasn’t a joke, he was a terrible tragedy for the human race and particularly Jewish people and you don’t play around with those terms.”
Village Attorney Laurie Cohen, who participated in the meeting, told the Post that Radosevich’s statement and gesture were “really inappropriate.”
Executive Director of the Wellington Chamber of Commerce Michela Perillo-Green told WPBF-TV in West Palm Beach that she sent a letter to the chamber board asking that Radosevich’s tenure be revoked, a first in the decade Perillo-Green has been executive director.
“It is my intent to send a very clear message to our Membership, to the Village, and to our friends and family of the Jewish faith,” Perillo-Green reportedly wrote, “that we do not tolerate this type of horrifying behavior.”
Radosevich’s term ends in May, the Post said.
Here’s footage of the full incident:
Featured image via WPBF-TV