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Leelanau County Road Commissioner Tom Eckerle will resign his post effective Monday following several days of controversy over his use of the n-word at a public meeting and in multiple media interviews this week, Leelanau County Administrator Chet Janik, The Ticker reports.
Janik spoke to Eckerle Friday and informed him that the Road Commission had resigned after hiring a new manager this month, and he did not want to force that manager over the controversy created by Eckerle’s comments this week.
On Thursday, August 7, members of the Leelanau County Road Commission sent a letter to Eckerle requesting his resignation. The letter follows calls from other elected officials representing the Northern Michigan region.
“We do not tolerate the racist comments you made in the Leelanau County Road Commission meeting room on August 4,” said the letter signed by four other commissioners. We will not tolerate any racism in our meeting room and organization. This behavior has had a serious impact on our excellent road commission and we ask you to resign immediately. ”
The alleged comments came during a public meeting where anyone who called a phone number to listen to the hearings could be heard.
According to Leelanau Enterprise, Eckerle allegedly said at a meeting on August 4th, “Well, it’s all because of them (n-words) in Detroit.”
Eckerle was answering a question for the meeting that he was not wearing a faceplate required by the executive decision to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.