The director of a Texas museum partially funded by taxpayer dollars appears to be in hot water over a message she posted to Facebook on Super Tuesday, KTXS-TV reported.
"I hope every single one of you pieces of s**t that votes Republican dies today," Melonnie Hicks, executive director of the Pioneer City County Museum in Sweetwater, wrote, the station said.
After word spread about Hicks' post and controversy erupted, KTXS said she issued an apology on Facebook: "I was really mad at Republicans for voting against health care since my options today are die or go into debt to see the doctor. It was gross which is [why] I deleted it."
KTAB-TV reported that both messages were posted on Hicks' personal Facebook page — and that both have been deleted.
The station noted that Hicks hasn't responded to its request for comment.
The museum's board of directors is scheduled to hold a 5:30 p.m. emergency meeting Friday at the Sweetwater Police Department to discuss Hicks' comment and her future with the museum, KTXS reported.
"It's regrettable and reprehensible, especially from someone who is a community leader," City Manager David Vela told the station in response to Hicks' words. "Those kind of comments should never be made on social media or anywhere else."
Vela added to KTXS that the city doesn't stand by her statement and that he hopes the board makes the "right and responsible choice" although the board "may have a different definition of 'right and responsible.' Let's just see what actions they take, and we'll go from there."
KTAB said it's unclear if Hicks is still serving as museum director, but there's no longer a Pioneer City County Museum page on Facebook, and its phone was ringing all day Thursday with no answer.
In addition, every board member declined KTAB's request for comment, saying they won't know anything until after Friday's meeting.
At least one Republican wants Hicks to stick around
Joe Hyde — publisher of San Angelo Live and a Republican — wrote an op-ed saying Hicks should keep her job despite her post.
"I don't in the least bit feel threatened by [Hicks'] off-the-cuff comment on Facebook wishing that I die," Hyde noted. "I know Facebook is driven by creating engagement that produces long visits and lots of eyeballs on its advertisements. Facebook evokes strong emotions to keep its users scrolling. The easiest emotion to incite is anger, and Facebook's algorithm is quite good at turning calm and peaceful people into raging lunatics. Hicks was spending too much time on Facebook and wrote something she regretted. She later explained her frustration and apologized."
He added that "cancel culture" so prevalent today "means good people are given just one strike and they are out ... Give Miss Hicks a break. She is a valuable contributor to the preservation of history in Nolan County. One strike doesn't mean you're out."