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Eula Clarke

Florida Mayor steps down after “pig” comment

by Leigh Egan

Stuart, Florida, Mayor Eula Clarke resigned from her position on Wednesday after allegations of her making derogatory remarks about police officers came to light.

WPTV reports that Clarke went into a local Stuart grocery store on January 11, and while within earshot of a Stuart police officer, declared the store was “serving pig today.” Allegedly, Clarke looked directly at the police officer while making the remark.

Clarke admitted to the mistake, but she also claimed that she strongly supports law enforcement. In front of more than 50 people on Wednesday, she apologized for the comment and in a prepared statement, asked for forgiveness.

“Unfortunately, I made a mistake. We all make mistakes and I am truly and humbly sorry.”

City Attorney Mike Mortell said that the Palm Beach County Police Benevolent Association received more than 700 complaints about Clarke after the incident leaked. Some people, however are torn. While some showed no tolerance to her comment, others feel she may have been joking or she may have been talking about pork, since she’s of Jamaican descent.

John Kazanjian, president of police association, stated that the matter would have been cleared if Clarke explained herself with more than just an apology.

“You keep on bringing up the meat products. Is it that you said it or you didn’t say it. I mean, we’re all confused,” Kazanjian said at the meeting on Wednesday.

Prior to her public apology, Kazanjian spoke with Clarke, and questioned her directly about her comment. When he asked Clarke if she’d give a public apology to the police force, she said that not only did she apologize to the officer she insulted in the grocery, but that she would be willing to apologize to all Palm County law enforcement officers.

In the meantime, the city will start an investigation to determine whether Clarke has said similar things in the past. Mortell indicated that the investigation wasn’t a form of punishment for Clarke.

“It’s not for the purpose of punishing anybody. It’s making sure that the work environment at the city is free from the perception of hostility.”

Clarke stepped down from her role as mayor, but will still keep her position as city commissioner.

[Feature Photo: City of Stuart]

Leigh Egan is a crime-fighting journalist and editor who specializes in breaking news and investigative true crime coverage. With more than a decade of experience under her belt, Leigh’s work can be found in a number of high-profile national publications. For Leigh, learning didn’t stop after college. She considers herself a lifelong learner who frequently takes media and journalism courses to keep abreast of the latest happenings and innovations in her field.