Inflammatory comments against a 30-year U.S. Army combat veteran have led to the resignation of an elected official in Palm Beach County.
In a story BizPac Review broke on Monday, Pat Edmonson, the vice chair of the Palm Beach Soil and Water Conservation District, is now resigning after she came under fire for her vulgar rampage on Facebook against the veteran over his support for President Donald Trump.
The chairman of the Republican Party of Palm Beach County demanded Edmonson’s resignation over her “shameful comments,” as reported by BizPac Review.
On Wednesday, she stepped down from the position she was elected to in 2016, saying she made a ” terrible mistake,” WPBF-TV reported.
Edmonson sparred with retired military veteran James Plowman in comments on a post about Trump’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin which noted that the president’s supporters should be treated as common criminals.
Plowman, who commented that he spent “30 years in the Infantry and 53 months in combat for our great nation” was subjected to Edmonson’s reprehensible attacks, as she called him a “traitor,” said he was “full of s–t,” and “F— you.”
A screenshot of the comments was posted on Facebook by Michael Barnett, Palm Beach County’s GOP chair, on Monday.
While Plowman dismissed being called a traitor, he found the disparaging comments made about soldiers killed in battle “just can’t be forgiven.”
“That’s just something I’m not going to even look at forgiving. It’s just not a place she should have ever went,” he said, according to The Palm Beach Post.
Rob Long, supervisor of PBC Soil and Water Conservation, responded in a lengthy statement on Facebook Tuesday but initially only went as far as saying Edmonson’s comments “in no way reflect the views or opinions of this elected board or its employees,” noting she has a First Amendment right to say what she chooses but should “be held responsible for the views that she expressed,” adding that “all criticism and responses should be directed to her individually.”
He later had a significantly harsher tone, calling the comments against the veteran vile, hateful and disrespectful, WPBF reported.
“For someone who’s elected and entrusted to represent Palm Beach County in a specific way, to say that is just, you can’t come back from something like that and she has no place in public office in my opinion,” he said, telling WPEC-TV that he was glad Edmonson resigned.
Edmonson apologized for “the inappropriate choice of language” on Plowman’s Facebook page, according to the Post.
“My words were spoken as a private citizen, not in any professional or public capacity and should be treated accordingly,” she wrote, adding that she “let my Trump hate get the best of me and said some truly hurtful things.”
” I made a terrible mistake; I apologized to the person I wronged,” she said in a statement released Wednesday, telling WPBF by phone that she has received death threats due to the viral post and comments.
Edmonson’s husband spoke with WPEC by phone, saying the heated exchange between his wife and Plowman became personal as her hatred of Trump got the best of her.
“This is not reflecting of who this person is and anyone who knows her, knows that,” he told the station, adding that she “regrets the use of any of this language,” and “this was a sleep-deprived episode where my wife has been working around the clock.”
A Democratic candidate for the Florida House of Representatives also kicked Edmonson off his campaign in which she had worked.
“Ms. Edmonson’s words do not reflect my views or the views of my campaign,” Jim Bonfiglio wrote on Facebook, according to The Post. “She exhibited a severe lapse in judgment, to say the least. Although I count her as a friend, Pat is no longer associated with my campaign in any way.”
Edmonson’s seat, as one of a five-member unpaid board of supervisors on the PBC Soil and Water Conservation District, will be filled through an appointment or a special election.
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