YARDLEY BOROUGH >> Councilman-elect Patrick McGovern, in a statement issued on Sunday morning, apologized for a satirical FaceBook account and said he will not accept a seat on council when the council reorganizes in January.
Councilwoman Sandi Brady, a Republican, abruptly resigned from council on Tuesday just hours after confronting McGovern, a Democrat, at the polls over the satirical FaceBook profile which she called “offensive” and took aim at women, the LGBTQ community and Asians.
“To set the record straight, several years ago I had an alternate FaceBook account that I used to make some satirical posts,” said McGovern. “This account and these old posts re-surfaced very recently, and they were seen by people that were hurt by them. For that I am deeply sorry,” he said.
“In no way was I taking aim at any particular community. I never commented on the Yardley political race with that account,” he said. “I know people found the terms I used to be offensive – they were not meant to be and I regret using them.
“While this is not an excuse, I want to explain that I did intend the posts and those terms to be satire,” he said. “Satire often trumpets a position in an exaggerated way that exposes hypocrisy, stereotypes and inhumanity. The problem, I’ve learned, with using satire is the interpretation, especially when taken out of context.
“In hindsight,” said McGovern, “I wish I did not post in this way, but it doesn't change the fact that ultimately people were hurt. I own this and wish to make an unequivocal apology for it,” he said.
In the last week, McGovern said, there have also been fabrications of posts from his personal account as well as his alternate one.
“Someone saw an opportunity to add fuel to the fire, and they too should apologize to the people who were hurt by these fake posts containing racist comments that I did not make and certainly do not endorse,” said McGovern.
“I would like to take positive next steps in moving forward,” he continued. “The events of the past week are not a representation of who I am. I grew up in a diverse city, went to a city high school, and served five years in the military with people of many different backgrounds.
“In no way do I judge anyone based on their sexual orientation, racial, ethnic or religious makeup,” he said. “Going forward, I will not use inappropriate terms in any context, and I will strive for good digital citizenship.
Regarding Ms. Brady’s resignation, McGovern said he had read in one of the stories that she decided to resign from Council before the outcome of Tuesday’s election. “She had experienced much frustration in the past, and I’m sorry if my posts exacerbated that,” he said.
“In order to avoid distracting from the transition to the new council, I have decided not to accept the position of Borough Councilman in January,” said McGovern. “At that time I will not accept the position and the Borough Council will follow the process to appoint a new member.”