ARNOLD, Pa. - A Westmoreland County mayor is taking heat for remarks she made on social media regarding the protests sparked by the fatal shooting of Antwon Rose.
Karen Peconi’s comments about protesters – including “They don’t care about jobs for Pgh.. none of them work now” – came to light Monday.
"It's not our views, it's not our views of the city of Arnold," said Philip McKinley, council member. "We're a very diverse city. We pride ourselves in that and these are not our views. I don't condone them."
Mayor Peconi released this statement Wednesday:
"I love this community, I would do anything for the people here. I don’t take my position as Mayor lightly and deeply regret the comments I made on Facebook. It was never my intention to offend anyone, and for those who I offended I am sincerely sorry."
- Criminal complaint against officer Rosfeld says Antwon Rose did not fire any shots in N. Braddock; was shot in face, back in E. Pittsburgh
- What we know about the officer who shot, killed Antwon Rose
- Surveillance video shows drive-by shooting moments before Antwon Rose was shot
- Officer who shot, killed Antwon Rose has troubled past, attorney says
The city can't do anything because the mayor is protected under the First Amendment, and there's no recourse because she is an elected official, according to David Regoli, city solicitor.
"There a difference between public officials and public employees," Regoli said. "A public employee can be disciplined for making statements on social media, that have effected the work place. Public officials it's a little different because there's nobody to discipline the public official except the public."
The Freeport Volunteer Fire Department just suspended a firefighter indefinitely for a racial slur found on his Facebook post late last week.
The Fire Department said it's now conducting a detailed investigation into his remarks.
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