Stuart mayor under pressure to step down - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Stuart mayor under pressure to step down

Several Stuart city commissioners, and former police officers, said Monday that Stuart Mayor Eula Clarke should step down after a comment she made earlier this month in the presence of a city police officer.

The officer was speaking with a grocery store clerk on January 11th when the mayor walked in and said, "I didn't know we were serving pig tonight."

City Commissioner Troy McDonald was among those asking for the mayor's resignation at a Monday workshop.

“It’s bigger than her now, there’s damage to the city," said McDonald.

The mayor was emotional and apologized several times.

“I understand everything that has been said.  I understand what I have said," said Mayor Clarke.

John Kazanjian, the president of the Palm Beach County Police Benevolent Association, which represents Stuart police officers, was in the audience.  The mayor tried to shake Kazanjian’s hand during the meeting but Kazanjian refused the gesture. "This isn’t about me,” he said.

The mayor said she’s the last person who wants to cause division in the city, and at one point tried to explain herself. “I use that word, when referring to certain meat products.”

Some spoke on the mayor's behalf, and the mayor herself again said she had made an apology to the officer involved.

“I would hope that I can continue to work with you. I’m asking you to help me heal," she said to the audience which had several officers in attendance.

“Words have consequences.  It’s going to take more than just sitting up here and saying 'I’m sorry,' " said commissioner McDonald.

Kazanjian says the mayor missed an opportunity.

“If she would have just stepped down as mayor today.  They would not have brought up an HR review.  I’m going to tell you right now, there’s a lot coming out of that HR review," he added.

The next step comes Wednesday at 5 p.m. at Stuart City Hall.  Commissioners have scheduled a reorganization meeting.  The only way Mayor Clarke would be off the commission entirely is if she decides to remove herself, or if there’s a recall. 

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