Two Livingston County Commissioners have been called on by a former colleague to resign based on their response to residents who spoke out against a questionable social media post.

Former County Commissioner Steve Williams attended the Board of Commissioners’ Monday meeting and requested an apology from current Commissioners Bob Bezotte and Dave Domas. Bezotte, who was not present Monday, came under fire earlier this month after he posted a meme to his personal Facebook page calling two African-American Congresswomen “despicable Democratic hags.” Judy Daubenmier, who heads up the Livingston County Democrats, said it was both racist and sexist. Bezotte called her a liar and suggested his page had been hacked only to later admit he had indeed posted it, saying it was done inadvertently. Bezotte has since clarified that he called her a liar not for the meme but saying he was a racist, sexiest and ageist.

In an emailed statement to WHMI, Daubenmier said, "...the former sheriff’s behavior was rude and totally unacceptable. But the claim that Livingston County Democrats somehow colluded with Steve Williams to criticize Commissioner Bezotte is just crazy. I don’t need anybody to tell me when to stand up against bigotry and neither did the rest of the people who were at the commission’s meeting earlier this month." Her full statement is posted below.

Williams, who lost his seat on the board to Bezotte last year, also called out Commissioner Domas, alleging he supported Bezotte despite knowing the former sheriff had engaged in unethical behavior including promoting his son-in-law to lieutenant and using county resources for campaigning. He went to say Bezotte was a “skunk” who couldn’t change his stripes and called on both commissioners to resign.

Domas responded at the end of the meeting, saying Williams was being “dishonest” to suggest he orchestrated Bezotte’s victory and told Williams he shouldn’t condemn people who beat him and then join forces with the opposition party.

Williams’ remarks also drew criticism from County Republican chair Dan Wholihan who said in a Facebook post that what happened at both meetings was unacceptable and that nothing was accomplished based on Williams’ remarks. He says cameras should be removed from county commission meetings because people are playing to the cameras for publicity stunts. In response, Jordan Genso, a local activist and former head of the Livingston County Democrats, said that, "Transparency is about providing good governance, and should be a non-partisan issue.” Genso says it is disappointing that the chair of the county Republicans wants to end transparency because he finds it problematic for the Republican Party, adding that, “A strong leader wouldn't sacrifice good governance because they find inconvenient for their party." Wholihan says that misses the point. "Any member of the public can attend commissioner hearings. I support transparency, but cameras are different and invite publicity stunts that distract from the real work being done."

You can view the meeting video through the link below. Bezotte has also since responded to say it’s sad that Williams is trying to take advantage of the situation for his own personal political gain. His comments are attached. (DK/JK)