Pickaway County – A Scioto County trustee has issued an apology after being caught on a hot mic using a racial slur about a National Holiday Juneeth.
During the regular 11/17/23 meeting, everything was going as normal, bills were getting paid, the Scioto Fire Chief reported that he had some extra time and had to take some vacation before the end of the year. Everything was moving smoothly until a discussion of the Union Fire Labor agreement came up and a specific holiday Juneteenth, became a Federal holiday in 2021.
Trustee Barton Fannin wanted to deny the contract of the holiday, and during a discussion on a recorded mic a racial slur was captured. Trustees can be heard talking about it.
“I did not realize that was a frickin Federal holiday,” Fannin says to the Trustees.
“You know what it means?” said Trustee Ralph Wolfe
“Its a N—– Holiday,” said Fannin
“Whoa,” said Wolfe, “No what it is the southern white folks didn’t tell the slaves that slavery was over. People started talking and in Texas on June 19th, all of the slaves were officially freed over all of the country.”
Fannin then realizes he is still being recorded and asks about it, “Have you shut it off?”
No Yet said Terry Brill the Fiscal Officer-Scioto Township
“You might want to rewind that a bit,” said Fannin just as the Trustees moved to pay bills.
But the recording did not get rewound, and several people went to social media calling for Fannin to resign his position.
In unofficial minutes Trustee John Maynard said that, “These comments are very racist, and he felt that Fannin should resign.”
Trustee Ralph Wolfe has also asked for Fannin to step down from his position, “I hope this message finds you well. I am reaching out to address a matter of great importance that has recently come to light in our community. Trustee Bart Fannin, a colleague within Scioto Township, has used a racial slur, and I feel compelled to share my perspective on this issue. Initially, my approach was to seek a private resolution out of respect for our community. However, despite private attempts to encourage Trustee Fannin’s resignation, he remains resistant. Consequently, I am now publicly calling for his resignation while unequivocally condemning the use of such offensive language. As someone who is not a person of color, I acknowledge that I cannot fully grasp the profound hurt caused by such a degrading and racist word. It is crucial to emphasize that no racial or derogatory slur is accepted within the realm of Scioto Township. My call for Trustee Fannin’s resignation is not driven by hatred. I recognize and commend his work ethic, but the use of such language is fundamentally at odds with the values of Scioto Township. Regrettably, this incident has not only affected him but also his family and business. In closing, I stand in solidarity with any citizen who feels hurt by the actions of someone employing an ignorant racial slur. As the chairman of the trustee board of Scioto Township, I will formally recommend Trustee Fannin’s resignation during our upcoming meeting. Additionally, I have initiated plans for sensitivity training for all employees and elected officials in the coming weeks. I firmly believe that hate in any form is unacceptable, and our community should always strive to come from a place of love. I want to express my apologies for not speaking up earlier, and I appreciate the legal guidance that now allows me to make this statement. The outpouring of emails, phone calls, messages, and voicemails has not gone unnoticed, and I want the people of Scioto Township to know that I stand with you. During that special meeting, I conveyed to Trustee Fannin that if he is comfortable using such a slur, he may also be comfortable using slurs against me when I am not present, given my identity within the LGBTQ+ community. Thank you for your understanding as we navigate through these challenging times. I am committed to fostering a community where everyone feels valued, respected, and supported. Ralph Wolfe Scioto Township Trustee Chairman”
A apology has been posted online from Fannin that says, “On November 17, 2023, at a meeting of the Scioto Township Trustees, I used language that was not only disrespectful but extremely hurtful and unacceptable. My deepest sympathy goes to every individual and family that I have hurt. I am truly sorry for my actions. This community is my home and for me to represent myself and my family in such a way is unacceptable. I have learned a lot from my actions, and I feel embarrassed by them. I hope over time I can earn this community’s trust once again. Lastly, I want to apologize to my family. I have put you in a spot that as a husband, father, son, and brother I should have never put you in. I love all of you, I have let you down and I am truly sorry.”