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Ohio mayor resigns over accusations she called gay police officer a ‘queer’

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The mayor of a small southeastern Ohio community resigned Saturday over accusations that she repeatedly called a gay police officer queer in front of his colleagues and created a hostile work environment, at one point saying, “I don’t like a queer working for the village.”

Mary McAngus

Mary McAngus, the 78-year-old mayor of the Village of Pomeroy, submitted a letter of resignation as mayor of the town of 2,000 along the Ohio River just across from West Virginia, said Jackie Welker, the village council president and now-acting mayor.

“It just seems so absurd, even in our town in Appalachia, that this could still happen,” Welker told The Associated Press. “Hopefully this resignation will start the healing.”

McAngus did not immediately return a call to her home for comment Saturday.

Her resignation as mayor comes on the heels of police Chief Mark Proffitt’s warning to the council this week that McAngus’ alleged comments could open the village to a lawsuit.

He said McAngus made the first remark a few weeks after 21-year-old Officer Kyle Calendine was hired, telling Proffitt that she had heard the officer was openly gay.

“I don’t like a queer working for the Village,” she said, according to a six-page statement Proffitt sent to village council this month. “I might be old-fashioned but I don’t like it.”

On Jan. 31, McAngus used the word several times while meeting with the chief and another officer, the statement said. The officer “advised he was caught off guard and he couldn’t believe she was talking so bad about a village officer.”

Proffitt believed the mayor didn’t want Calendine hired as a full-time officer because he is gay, the statement said.

Proffitt said in an interview with the AP on Friday that he supports gay rights and was upset about the hostile work environment the situation has created.

“Gay people have rights like everyone else,” said Proffitt, police chief since 2000, who said he has an openly gay niece and nephew.

The mayor also complained about Calendine’s partner coming to the police department and wanted him kicked out, according to the statement.

Proffitt said family members frequently visit all employees at the department.

Calendine said Saturday that he is considering a lawsuit because of how difficult the situation became and to teach McAngus a lesson.

“For someone in a place of power to say something like that, that’s shocking,” he said. “She needs to know that she done wrong and in a way, she needs to be punished for what she’s done because it was completely out of line. … My rights were violated.”

He said that when he heard McAngus resigned, “it took a lot off my shoulders.”

“People don’t want to be pulled aside and asked, ‘Are you gay?’ and be judged for that,” said Calendine, who said he’s the first openly gay man a lot of people in his area have met. “I want to go to work, do my job and go home. That’s all I’m here to do.”

Calendine has worked for the Athens County Sheriff’s Office and the Jackson and Glouster police departments. He was hired in Pomeroy in September.

McAngus is a former bank teller and had served on Pomeroy’s council for at least one term before she was sworn in as mayor just over a year ago.

Becker said Saturday that he hoped McAngus’ resignation puts the whole situation behind the community.

He rejected the idea that McAngus might just be old-fashioned.

“I just don’t accept that as a defense,” he said. “I’m hoping the mayor’s resignation will start putting out fires for us, but the excuse of being old-fashioned, I just don’t know. It just seems so crazy to me, to be honest. It’s just ludicrous.”

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34 more reader comments:

  1. Glad she did resign,ignorant!

    Posted on Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 3:22pm
  2. Pig

    Posted on Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 3:22pm
  3. Just another bigoted old bag.

    Posted on Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 3:25pm
  4. With a face like that…..That woman would do well to keep her mouth shut

    Posted on Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 3:26pm
  5. good go away mayor

    Posted on Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 3:27pm
  6. Hit the Road Hater!!!

    Posted on Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 3:27pm
  7. Good

    Posted on Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 3:27pm
  8. Glad to hear she did..

    Posted on Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 3:27pm
  9. Lmao

    Posted on Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 3:30pm
  10. Damn..thats one evil looking bitch…

    Posted on Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 3:30pm
  11. Being older is no excuse for ignorance, I’m glad she resigned, I’d hate to think she could draw unemployment insurance. So ignorant!

    Posted on Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 3:30pm
  12. We need to remember that just because she is discriminatory, doesn’t give us the right to be mean. We need to take the high road because we are better than that.

    That being said, this bullshit of denying people of any basic human right just because they are “different” has got to STOP!

    Posted on Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 3:32pm
  13. Ignorance knows no age.

    Posted on Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 3:38pm
  14. Good bye good riddance

    Posted on Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 3:39pm
  15. My aunt is her generation and said her excuse of being old fashioned is nonsense things change and for the better.

    Posted on Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 3:40pm
  16. Another one bites the dust. When will they realize that their hate is not going to be beneficial for them?

    Posted on Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 3:41pm
  17. GOOD!!!

    Posted on Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 3:42pm
  18. good…the old bat!!

    Posted on Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 3:44pm
  19. She better hope this “queer” doesn’t get called to an emergency for her…..

    Posted on Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 4:04pm
  20. Pathetic!

    Posted on Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 4:07pm
  21. As she should have!

    Posted on Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 4:07pm
  22. were here and you CAN call us “queer”… :)

    Posted on Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 4:13pm
  23. You have to be careful what you say, anymore, the 30′s,4o’s, and 50′s are over; adjust to the present!

    Posted on Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 4:32pm
  24. Good!

    Posted on Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 4:51pm
  25. wow!

    Posted on Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 5:25pm
  26. If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say nothing at all.

    Posted on Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 5:46pm
  27. Just as ugly on the inside as she is on the outside.

    Posted on Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 5:50pm
  28. Good riddance!

    Posted on Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 5:58pm
  29. What a troll!!

    Posted on Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 6:17pm
  30. great

    Posted on Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 6:36pm
  31. https://www.change.org/petitions/a-valentine-for-frank-mugisha#share <– to try to stop people getting the death penalty because they are gay.

    Posted on Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 7:37pm
  32. Good riddance to bigoted trash!

    Posted on Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 8:14pm
  33. Will the 1950s ever end? *sigh*

    Posted on Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 9:15pm
  34. good riddens…maybe her mistakes will be a lesson for others.

    Posted on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 6:56am