The former sheriff of Livingston County is claiming responsibility for a Facebook post local Democrats and others were offended by, calling it racist and sexist.

Bob Bezotte now serves as a county commissioner and was criticized during Monday night’s meeting for an October Facebook post that showed a meme of Democratic Congresswomen Maxine Waters and Frederica Wilson, both African-Americans. It stated the “two despicable Democratic hags” need to be thrown out of office. Various members of the Livingston County Democratic Party including chairwoman Judy Daubenmier, spoke during call to the public, calling the meme sexist, ageist and hateful. Her statement to the board is posted below.

Bezotte initially denied the post, calling Daubenmier a liar and alleging his account had been hacked. But he now says that after talking with his sister, who is the family expert on Facebook, he realizes that he must have been the one who posted it. Bezotte says he was not really aware of how social media works and that his original denial was due to his shock at the accusations being hurled at him, making him think it was a setup. He says he now takes responsibility for the post but it was the personal attack that really offended him, and being called a racist and sexist – noting he has African American family members and a gay niece.

Bezotte says he’s now much better educated on how Facebook operates and says he’ll be more careful about future posts, adding his are usually related to the military or supporting police officers and he does support President Trump.

Bezotte said while he’ll take responsibility for the post, he will not apologize because he feels the negative, derogatory things Wilson and Waters have put on Facebook related to law enforcement have been lies, adding both sides of the political aisle have a responsibility to be careful about what they say. He says he listens to what Democrats have to say and understand where they’re coming from but it’s too bad everything stems around politics and has to be along party lines, saying you can’t have a discussion anymore without being racist or laugh without somebody getting offended or getting criticized because you have a different point of view.

Bezotte added he was embarrassed for the Board of Commissioners because all of the members are good people and had to sit there and listen to everything because of his Facebook post and for that, Bezotte says he does apologize to his fellow board members. He added there will also not be any wasting of taxpayer dollars on an IT Department investigation.

Local Democrats, however, say the issue is not over. Some have called on Bezotte to resign, while others say he owes Daubenmier an apology for calling her a liar. It’s expected that a group may attend the next county commission meeting to again air their grievances. (JM/JK)