State News

Racist Leelanau road commissioner drops N-bomb at public meeting

August 06, 2020, 6:37 AM

Just yesterday, the Deadline Detroit newsletter -- to which you should be subscribing -- suggested that if you're feeling worn out, rundown and sick to death of the current situation, you might consider a refreshing trip to the country, i.e., some of the pretty rural spots of our beautiful state. 

Maybe want to reconsider that. 

Our colleague Violet Ikonomova is out on a jaunt to the Mitten's little fingers, and sends back an alarming dispatch from the Leelanau Enterprise, a story about a meeting of the county road commission. 

Member Tom Eckerle was asked why he wasn't wearing a mask, and he is reported to have replied: 

"Well, this whole thing is because of them n-----s down in Detroit." 

Another commissioner said, "You can't say that!" and Eckerle replied:

"I can say anything I want. Black Lives Matter has everything to do with taking the country away from us." 

The public meeting did not have any members of the public present, for social-distancing purposes, and the remarks were not included in a recording of the meeting because they were offered before it was called to order. But three other commissioners confirmed Eckerle's comments.

In a 2018 Leelanau Enterprise story about Eckerle's election to the commission, he is described as a "retired farmer who worked for 21 years as a gravel pit manager" who was 74 years old at the time of his election.

The Leelanau County Road Commission normally deals with seasonal weight restrictions and snow-plowing issues. Depending on the tolerance of the local citizenry, we suspect the next meeting may venture onto unplowed roads.

Read more:  Leelanau Enterprise

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