A former mayor in Connecticut has resigned as president of the Greater New Britain Chamber of Commerce after nearly days of backlash over an offensive Facebook post he made during the State of the Union address.
During the nationally televised speech, former New Britain Mayor Tim Stewart made a sexist comment on a Facebook photo of female Democratic congresswomen who were in attendance at the speech wearing white “as a show of solidarity” in a tribute to women’s suffrage.
Stewart posted under the photo, “(expletive) in heat."
He was then immediately placed on administrative leave.
On Saturday, Gennaro Bizzarro, chairman of the Greater New Britain Chamber of Commerce, announced he accepted Stewart's resignation.
"I thanked Tim for his years of service to the Chamber and its many members, and I wished him well in his future pursuits," Bizzarro said. "For the past three days, we at the Greater New Britain Chamber of Commerce have been rocked by the aftermath of Tim's social media post.
"Within hours of learning of the post on Wednesday morning, I placed Tim on immediate administrative leave and expressed my profound disappointment in his inexcusable language.
"I issued an unequivocal condemnation of his post and made clear that Tim’s words did not reflect the feelings held by the members of the Greater New Britain Chamber of Commerce, our staff or myself. I further advised that, as Chairman, I had a duty to consult our By-Laws and to confer with my fellow board members regarding disciplinary authority and action.
"We moved swiftly to address this situation. After meeting with our staff to stabilize the office and ensure continuity of operations, I scheduled a special meeting of our Board to address Tim’s future with the Chamber.
"Over the last 72 hours, I also attempted to speak with each of the 20 board members individually to solicit feedback, listen to their opinions, and express my thoughts on the matter. I appreciate that Tim has stepped forward so as not to put the Chamber or our members through additional distress.
"I thank everyone for their continued patience, resolve, and support during this difficult time, and I am confident that together, we will get past this and continue to move the Chamber forward for years to come.
New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart, who is also Tim Stewart’s daughter, posted her reaction to her father's post on Wednesday morning on Twitter.
“To all those asking; I’m embarrassed and mortified,” she wrote.
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