Milford Township Roads Superintendent Kale White will lose his title and the equivalent of two weeks of pay after sharing a Hitler-themed video of himself with two trustees that he admits was “inappropriate.”
Two community trustees originally posted on the township’s Facebook page that they saw no reason for White to lose his job over the incident while another has resigned.
“While we agree we’ve had some recent incidents with Mr. White that reflects [sic] poorly on him and the township, we don’t believe that the items that have been brought up are sufficient enough to end somebody’s career or employment,” Trustees Richard Litzenberg and George Blocker said in a signed post on the township’s Facebook page Sunday night. “Does he need to improve? Yes, he does, as we all in the township do.”
White himself followed with his own post on the same Facebook page.
“A few weeks ago I shared a video with two trustees that was inappropriate,” White wrote. “This video was not meant to single out any race, creed, sex or religion and be mean to them. It does have myself with a small mustache and a mention of Hitler. It was wrong and I am sorry. I was attempting to add some off-color humor to a tense township situation.”
White said the video was shot at his home on his own time.
The video has not been made public, and both Facebook posts were taken down Monday evening.
Former trustee Tim Eyster, who stepped down about a month ago, doesn’t share the views Litzenberg and Blocker posted on Facebook.
“Now, all that being said about his personnel file, looks like everyone thinks that it’s OK to screw up and say something racial, make a video in poor taste or offend some Jewish folk. Like over 6 million of them!!! Is this what I’m hearing?”, Eyster said in a reply to White’s Facebook post. “I resigned as your trustee because I was NOT going to be responsible for this behavior or the current support from any other trustee for this employee.”
Reached by phone Monday night, Eyster said, “Unethical conduct of employees and what I feel as unethical conduct from other trustees was a focal point in my resigning because I did not want to be responsible for the repercussions of what follows.”
Litzenberg and Blocker said in their Facebook post that White is largely responsible for the township having an unencumbered balance of more than $170,000 when its budget is $350,000.
On Aug. 1, one day before the trustees and White made their statements in Facebook posts, the township posted a list of accomplishments with the township’s roads department over the past five years. White’s own post lists many of those accomplishments as well.
The majority of the more than 74 replies on both the trustees’ and White’s Facebook posts said they were willing to forgive White.
“Done outside of work, on his own time. Too [sic] quote Shakesphere [sic] ‘much ado about nothing’. I really dislike the airing of dirty laundry on the township website,” Karen Martin said in her reply.
Christopher Scott had a different opinion, however.
“As long as someone’s doing a good job it’s alright, we’ll let it slide this time? I’d like to welcome y’all to the good old boys club. It ain’t whatcha know, it’s who you know and who your daddy is!” Scott said in his reply to White’s post.
On Monday afternoon, the township held an emergency meeting that included an executive session to discuss personnel discipline.
Litzenberg reached out to the News on Tuesday and said during that meeting it was decided to give White a one-week unpaid suspension. He was also stripped of his title and will lose a week of vacation.
“When we had our disciplinary meeting the other day, the other trustee, he’s social media savvy, I’m not, we decided we should put this on social media,” Litzenberg said. “The Facebook page started getting all kinds of loonies coming out and making comments, so we decided to take it down.”
Before taking the postings down, the township amended Blocker and Litzenberg’s message by inviting the public to voice their opinions at another meeting to be held at 8 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 10 at 4651 Wall St. in Centerburg.
Late Monday, the township trustees then posted a message saying there would be a special meeting at 8 p.m. Wednesday to appoint Eyster’s replacement.
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