Mayor Chris Harding speaks on Views From the Hill about Sandi Brady’s resignation.
A Yardley Borough Councilwoman officially submitted a resignation letter and stepped down this week. The resignation came after a confrontation on election day involving a candidate for Council and alleged racist Facebook posts.
Sandi Brady, a Korean-American, earned her spot on Council as a Republican in the 2017 election. But in the time since, she says she has experienced a “toxic, bullying culture.”
“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’s letter laid out events Tuesday morning. She had discovered a Facebook account under the name of “Sean NB Murphy.” The account, which no longer exists, allegedly belonged to Patrick McGovern. The Democratic candidate for Yardley Borough earned a spot on Council with Tuesday’s election.
“He acknowledged the racist nature of his posts using this profile, but chalked it up to satire as he was portraying himself to be a Republican. I appreciated his honesty and he did apologize to me.”
Brady made it clear she submitted her resignation Tuesday before any election results. She says the Facebook account had several posts which were racist against Asians, women, and other minorities. Brady shared some of the posts with WBCB.
“I work with far too many women and orientals we need to take our country back. #atleasttilliretirethenhaveatit”
However, despite Brady’s account, Council Vice President David Bria, a Democrat, pushed back.
Bria stated he did not want to give into “cancel culture.” He told WBCB he had concerns about whether some posts had been altered.
“I wish I could get more information from Sandi about this,” Bria said. “She gave me a call on Monday to explain that there were some posts, but I didn’t have any materials.”
“I am planning to speak more with Patrick about what happened there. He was there the morning during the confrontation. He acknowledged that both some of the material did originate from him, but he also indicated that some of the material was fabricated.”
Mayor Chris Harding, who read aloud Brady’s letter at the Council meeting Wednesday night, said he wished Bria had done more when it was brought to his attention.
One resident spoke up, saying she wished Brady had not resigned.
“I think it’s a very sad day. I never thought that what’s going on in this world today, that it would come down to Yardley Borouh. But it’s filtered down.”
Bria also indicated to WBCB that if an investigation showed the posts had credibility, they would take action.
“We have a situation where a councilperson-elect who has posted offensive, potentially racist material. We’re going to do everything we can to rectify that. And I think that probably means asking for a resignation.”
For Brady, this is not an isolated incident. Brady clashed with Councilman Mike Ruttle in 2018.
“I have been repeatedly targeted,” Brady said at a meeting in Oct. 2018. “He has called me a viper, the enemy, corrupt, poison, the worst thing that has happened in this town.”
Ruttle did not seek reelection this year. Brady’s full letter is below.
November 5, 2019
As you know, I had a confrontation with Pat McGovern, candidate for Boro Council, at the polls this morning. He admitted that he had created an alias FaceBook proﬁle, Sean NB Murphy, which I had viewed in depth. He acknowledged the racist nature of his posts using this profile, but chalked it up to satire as he was portraying himself to be a Republican. I appreciated his honesty and he did apologize to me. In his regret, he looked at me and said, “I think you are a good Republican.”
Well, I am not a “good Republican”. I am a person. And, my world is too big to put labels on people. I never viewed Pat as a good or bad Democrat. I only thought of him as Pat McGovern, and I had thought highly of him. Now, I will never un-see the incredibly offensive posts, multiple ones taking aim at Asians (I am Korean-American), at the LGBTQ community, at women, and more, that he made in the name of humor.
While Pat McGovern admitted all this and took accountability in front of David Bria, John McCann, and others, the action they chose to take was no action regarding Pat. And, instead, attack me. David Bria even attempted to gaslight me, suggesting I had photoshopped the numerous screenshots that] had taken of the FaceBook page, even after witnessing Pat’s admission of guilt.
I regret continually believing that David Bria is a bigger person than he is. But, he is indeed a great politician. I am not. I have never been, never will be.
So, this position on Yardley Boro Council is simply too much to bear. In my adult life, I have not encountered any blatant racism until Ijoined 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. I therefore resign my position on Council; effective immediately.
Thank you to the community members, who have supported me. I am proud of the many Public Safety accomplishments we have made in a fairly short amount of time. Thank you to Boro Manager Paula Johnson, Chief Kelly, Mayor Harding, Councilman Berry, COE 8: EMC Wes Foraker and you, Bryon, for making my time worthwhile. My core values and personal convictions prevent me from ﬁnishing my term with colleagues whose characterl cannot stop questioning.