Yardley Councilman-elect Pat McGovern has announced he will not take his seat after admitting to using a fake Facebook account to make offensive posts. This makes for the second council change in less than a week, after another member resigned in protest.
“In order to avoid distracting from the transition to the new council, I have decided not to accept the position of borough councilman in January. At that time I will not accept the position and the borough council will follow the process to appoint a new member,” McGovern said in a statement.
Fellow Councilwoman Sandi Brady submitted a letter of resignation last week prior to any election results. Mayor Chris Harding read the letter aloud, which condemned a pattern of behavior.
“In my adult life, I have not encountered any blatant racism until I joined Council, and it’s been certain Council members who continue to enable this behavior. It‘s clear to me that the toxic, bullying culture that I spoke out against last year is here to stay.”
Brady, a Korean American, confronted McGovern about the posts. One states,”I work with far too many women and orientals we need to take our country back.”
However, McGovern insists the posts are satire.
“This account and these old posts re-surfaced very recently, and they were seen by people that were hurt by them. For that I am sorry.”
McGovern also clarified he did not want to make any excuses. The account, named “Sean NB Murphy,” no longer exists.
“In hindsight, I wish I did not post in this way, but it doesn’t change the fact that ultimately people were hurt. I own this and wish to make an unequivocal apology for it.”
The Yardley Borough Council must now find replacements for McGovern and Brady. An application is available here.