Fairmont residents pack council meeting to address Bledsoe’s comments

Fairmont City Council addresses Bledsoe's comments
Published: Aug. 25, 2020 at 4:45 PM EDT
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UPDATE (AUG. 25, 11:30 p.m.) - There were over two hours of speeches at the council meeting to address the alleged derogatory comments made by councilman Barry Bledsoe.

Multiple community members and government officials from across West Virginia stood up to share their beliefs on his comments.

Many attendees requested a censure for Bledsoe’s comments.

Monongalia County Delegate Danielle Walker was among those speakers after being called “satanic” by councilman Bledsoe.

Councilman Bledsoe was not at the meeting. However, he wrote a letter to apologize and that said, “Do not let my poor choice reflect on the city of Fairmont.”

No decisions were made at this meeting regarding a censure.

ORIGINAL STORY (AUG. 25, 4.45 p.m.)

In a developing story we’re following, Fairmont City Council is preparing to convene tonight for the first time since councilman Barry Bledsoe made two separate controversial remarks on social media.

On Sunday, Bledsoe called Monongalia County Delegate Danielle Walker "satanic."

Since then, a flood of groups calling for him to apologize, including the Marion County Delegates, said they would be in attendance Tuesday evening.

The local NAACP released a statement Monday night citing the history of racist use of the word “satanic.”

In a letter the West Virginia House Democratic Women's Caucus sent to the council, the delegates said: "this type of behavior will no longer be ignored or swept under the proverbial rug."

It goes on to read: "we will continue to bring awareness every time an elected official or anyone entrusted to serve the citizens of this state violates their oath of office or trust with sexist, racist, or other inappropriate comments or actions."

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