MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD) – Mount Pleasant town councilman Kevin Cunnane is being criticized after calling a constituent a derogatory, gender-based slur in a private Facebook message.
Tuesday, Mount Pleasant constituent Barry Wolff posted a private Facebook message between him and Cunnane. The post has since been deleted, but News 2 was able to capture a screenshot of the original post.
Please note that some of the language may be offensive to some:
Some people in Mount Pleasant are offended after Cunnane called a constituent the “C” word, and many are calling for his resignation.
“Those words shouldn’t be used between any 2 human beings, it’s unprofessional, it’s inappropriate, and rude between a political figure and another human being or between any two human beings,” resident Lanier Bolmer, said.
“Those choice of words are completely unacceptable, juvenile and offensive,” Mount Pleasant resident, Allston McCrady said.
News 2 reporter Deanne Roberts spoke to Cunnane on the phone Friday, but he declined an on-camera interview.
“This perpetuates the issue, and I don’t want to do that, I want to move on,” Cunnane said.
Cunnane said the constituent accused him of using the 9/11 tragedy for personal and political gain. Cunnane said he’s a retired New York City firefighter and respondedto the twin towers after the attack, and worked in that area for several months following the attack.
He’s apologized since the post. He sent News 2 the following statement:
“It’s important I take a moment to address the news that I unfortunately created today. There’s no excuse for the language I used in a private Facebook message. I made a terrible error in judgement and I want to apologize for my behavior. Please understand my emotions come from a difficult and personal place I hope no one else ever has to experience. There is no event that has had more of an impact on my life than September 11th. I carry the effects of that day with me everyday.
While I do very much apologize for the language I used against a fellow citizen of this great town, being accused of using 9/11 in any way for personal gain or political motivation, during the week leading up to the anniversary triggered a raw emotional reaction.
That is no excuse for my behavior, and I am embarrassed and disappointed that the recipient decided to share that private message publicly and in the media without giving me an opportunity to first apologize.
However, I take full responsibility for my own actions. This does not represent who I am or how I treat others. I just let emotions get the best of me. I will do everything I can to hold myself to a higher standard of behavior in the future.
Mount Pleasant Mayor Will Haynie said he wasn’t available for an on-camera interview today, but also sent news 2 the following statement:
“No one condones or excuses what was said. Additionally, I have met with Mayor Pro Tem Gary Santos to discuss how our council Code of Ethics applies to this situation and if there is appropriate action that should result.”
The town of Mount Pleasant’s council code of conduct says the following about the conduct of members:
The code of conduct also states;
“The Town Code of expresses standards of conduct expected for members of the Town Council, Boards, Committees and Commissions. Members themselves have the primary responsibility to assure that ethical standards are understood and met, and that the public can continue to have full confidence in the integrity of government. Council members who intentionally and repeatedly do not follow proper conduct, as described above, may be subject to various reprimands and/or sanctions, as provided by Robert’s Rules of Order. More serious infractions will be reported to the State Ethics Board.”