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Whitehall commissioner calls for fellow commissioner to resign over comment about veterans

A Whitehall Township commissioner is calling for a fellow board member to resign following a remark the latter made about veterans.Joseph Marx Jr. said after Monday’s meeting that he could no longer “engage” with Jeffrey Warren due to a comment that Warren made at a polling site during the May 21 primary.Warren publicly apologized during the meeting, but did not say exactly what the remark was and declined to do so when asked afterward, calling it “an impulse statement,” and later, “It was stupid.”“I immediately knew it was wrong,” he said before formally apologizing to Marx, who served as a U.S. Marine aviation jet mechanic for five years, and Vice Chairman Philip Ginder, a combat veteran of the Vietnam War.Both were within earshot of Warren at the polling site when the comment was made, but only Ginder heard it. They remained silent following the apology, and Ginder declined comment afterward. Marx, however, said the remark by Warren was overheard by Ginder, who found it offensive and shared it with him.Marx said Ginder told him that after Marx introduced himself to a citizen as a Marine Corps veteran who was running for mayor, he heard Warren, who was nearby, say “Timothy McVeigh was also a veteran.”McVeigh, a member of the U.S. Army 1st Infantry Division, was a domestic terrorist who committed the Oklahoma City bombing on April 19, 1995, that killed 168 people and injured nearly 700 more. He was convicted and later executed by lethal injection.Ginder, who was with Marx after the meeting when the comment was discussed, remained silent.Marx said he was “6 to 8 feet away” when the remark was made and heard Ginder react to it before it was shared with him.He said the board hasn’t the authority to remove Warren, but that, in good conscience, he should resign.“I don’t feel he can serve the 1,750 veterans in Whitehall Township,” he said.Mayor Michael Harakal Jr., who garnered more than 75% of the vote during the primary to hold off Marx’s challenge, called Warren’s remark “a reprehensible statement” but that he was glad he was willing to take responsibility for it.“He truly regrets what he did,” he said.LoriAnn Fehnel, who advanced to the general election in November as a write-in candidate for a commissioner’s seat, said she feels that Warren’s apology was sincere, but that he should still resign.His remark, she said, was “very wrong and disrespectful.”“We need to honor them appropriately,” she said of veterans.Kevin Duffy is a freelance writer for The Morning Call.
Source: Morningcall

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