Sean Logue, attorney for Arnold Mayor Karen Peconi, who is facing a battle with her city council, wants Pennsylvania state Senate leaders to ignore demands made by Arnold’s council, among others, to have her removed from office after comments she made on Facebook were condemned as being racist.
Logue said the Senate should ignore demands that it vote to oust Peconi from office because of the Facebook post, a post that has generated much controversy, including the accusation made by many that she is a racist.
Logue says Peconi’s post was not, in fact, racist.
In June, Peconi posted to Facebook a picture of water cannons being used on protesters. She said hoses like those should be used on the people in Pittsburgh who were protesting the fatal shooting by police in East Pittsburgh of 17-year-old Antwon Rose, which occurred on June 19th.
Along with the image, Peconi added the words, “Bring the hoses” to her post. Additionally, she stated, “None of them work. That’s how they can do this at 7 a.m. …,” referring to the protesters, who have blocked city streets and shut down intersections and highways, including Interstate 376.
Although she has refused to step down from office, Peconi has apologized at a council meeting.
Sean Logue sent a letter to the leaders of the state Senate, cautioning them not to attempt to remove Peconi on Constitutional or other grounds.
In part, the letter states, “At no time did Mayor Peconi criticize citizens peacefully exercising their rights. The Mayor’s posts were in response to unlawful behavior, threats of violence and those calling police ‘murderers’ and ‘thugs.’” Protesters have assaulted drivers attempting to get through intersections, stealing their keys and tossing them in the sewer, and pounding on the vehicles.
Logue stated that Peconi has not only never posted a racist comment, but that she would condemn those kind of statements in strong terms.
Logue said in an interview on Thursday that he was asking senators to ignore the request from Arnold’s council for three reasons. The first of those reasons being that it would be unconstitutional; the second reason being that it would disenfranchise voters who elected Peconi into office, and by a wide margin; and the third reason being that it is a local political issue and not a state issue.
Logue said, “This is all political posturing.”
Logue addressed the letter to Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman, R-Bellefonte; Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa, D-Allegheny County; Senate president pro tempore Joseph B. Scarnati III, R-Cameron County; and Senator James Brewster, D-Allegheny/Westmoreland. Brewster’s district includes the city of Arnold.
Senator Costa said that the last time this legislative tactic was successful was in 1898. It was attempted again two years ago when Republicans in the Senate tried to remove the state’s attorney general, Kathleen Kane, from office after her law license was revoked, but that action came up short on votes in the Senate.
Before the Senate could act on a vote like this, a committee would have to approve it.
Source: TRIB Live
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