Michigan road commissioner to resign after using N-word, says he didn’t regret it.
A rural Michigan road commissioner who used the N-word in a meeting, then doubled-down on it after taking criticism, will resign from his post.
Local news stated that Leelanau County Road Commissioner, Tom Eckerle, used the word and declared that Black Lives Matter has “to do with taking the country away from us.”
Eckerle, who was elected to a six-year term on the road commission in 2018, was asked why his face wasn’t covered in a coronavirus mask and replied: “Well this whole thing is because of them (N-word) down in Detroit.”
The remark drew the attention of Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who added her voice to a chorus demanding that Eckerle step down.
Tiffany Brown, the Democratic governor’s spokesperson, said in a statement, “Governor Whitmer believes that Road Commissioner Tom Eckerle must resign immediately.”
“His comments are atrocious,” the statement added.
Leelanau County Administrator Chet Janik saidon Friday that Eckerle would leave his post after taking heat from around the country.
“I personally and professionally think it’s in the best interests of Mr. Eckerle, the road commission and Leelanau County,” Janik said.
The Leelanau County Road Commission had asked Eckerle to quit. “We do not condone the racist comments that you made,” the body said in a letter to Eckerle dated Thursday and posted to Facebook.
Eckerle, 75, however said he won’t resign.
“No, I don’t regret calling it an (N-word),” he said before repeating the slur three more times.