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Sussex County Republican Chairman Jerry Scanlan

Scanlan says he never received questions from investigation into racist social media posts

Sussex GOP chair won’t resign from county community college board

By Nikita Biryukov, August 20 2019 4:00 pm

Sussex County Republican Chairman Jerry Scanlan said he was never contacted as part of the Sussex County Community College Board of Trustees investigation into a series of racist posts made to the County GOP Twitter page.

“While I do not disagree that the Sussex County Community College Board of Trustees has a right and duty to conduct a full and fair investigation, what is being conducted is ‘Cowboy Justice’: Hang’em first and try’em later,” Scanlan said. “Thus, the Sussex County Community College Board of Trustees, as a committee or as a whole, has chosen not to hear from me, allow me to present my side, and thus I again will not be heard from today. I must now seek to be heard publicly now and I am sure again in the future.”

Scanlan has been a trustee at the county college for eight years. Currently, Scanlan serves as the board’s vice chairman.

The college launched an investigation into the posts following an outcry during the board’s July meeting. It’s set to release its report on the investigation at a meeting Tuesday evening.

The problematic posts included a call to “eradicate Islam from every town, city, county and state in our homeland” and others disparaging four progressive non-white congresswomen.

One such post called Reps. Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley the “Whores of Babble-on” and “stupid bitches.”

Scanlan, who took full responsibility for the posts, saying he did not read some of the posts as closely as he should have, said he intends to serve out the remainder of his term on the Board of Trustees. That term ends in October.

The Republican chairman also sought to defend himself from accusations of racism stemming form the posts.

“I acknowledged my wrong, disavowed and disclaimed their content, and repeatedly offered a public apology. What I have done and what has thereafter occurred, cannot be recalled or erased,” Scanlan said. “Yet, the subsequent confusion of the events and the fictions that have developed have overtaken the facts of the incident. Contrary to who I am and how I am known, I have been represented as a bigot, racist, and insensitive person. None of this can ever be corrected or explained.”

Scanlan said he offered to resign from the Board of Trustees, but his offer was declined.

“Some have said to me that the Trustees are listening to and succumbing to groups and voices
seeking my ouster, condemnation, and removal,” Scanlan said. “While there have been those calls, I believe that the Trustees will, as always, act with courage and commitment to doing the right thing.”

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