Editor’s Note: Some language may offend readers.
Georgetown City Councilman Marvin Thompson calls comments caught on an open microphone at Monday’s council meeting dumb and stupid.
“I made a stupid mistake. I would not have said that out like that. It was a comment that I had with my wife,” he said. “That was a dumb comment that was made that shouldn’t have been heard.
“I am sorry for it, and I didn’t mean to offend anybody.”
His comments on the fairness ordinance and also Jaime Morales’ lawsuit against the city were caught on the open microphone during a pair of breaks during the 4-hour meeting. Social media picked up the clips, which led to them spreading virally.
The microphone picked up Thompson talking to Councilwoman Polly Singer-Eardley.
Thompson says to Singer-Eardley, “I am going to vote what is right for me.” “Me too,” Singer-Eardley says. “You are not going to take my Christian morals. As my wife says, I don’t care if you want to screw a tree. Just keep it in your damn house and don’t tell anyone about it. It’s not any of our business what you do.” “Exactly,” Singer-Eardley said laughing. Singer-Eardley did not return messages for comment.
In regards to Morales, Thompson said to Singer-Eardley, “We have already given him a million dollars, a new home, new car, new lot.”
Elliott Miller, Morales’ attorney, said he and his client were shocked by the comments that were made.
“I got a text from Jaime at 6 in the morning,” of what was on Facebook, Miller said. “Our primary concern was the false information being disseminated by Mr. Thompson. Jaime is not living a luxurious life at the city’s expense. He is living in a small apartment not equipped to handle his needs. There’s no million dollars. He doesn’t have a house. Everything he does on a daily basis to live a normal life requires more money than a normal person. That’s why we brought the lawsuit.
“And one thing that was disturbing was it sounded like he was blaming Jaime for his injuries. Jaime was the one putting his life on the line to make Georgetown safer for Mr. Thompson and the other council members.”
Georgetown Mayor Tom Prather and the city released a statement Wednesday afternoon through attorney L. Scott Miller.
“The city council only speaks as a body, and a council member’s personal statements do not reflect any position of the council or the city. Mayor Prather would like to assure the public that the city is grateful for the community’s support of Deputy Morales and all law enforcement, including members of both the Scott County Sheriff’s Office and the Georgetown Police Department.
“We are hopeful that this support will continue despite the lawsuit. Although we will provide a proper defense to the City of Georgetown throughout this lawsuit, that does not mean we do not empathize with Deputy Morales,” the statement stated.
“It means you can do what you want to do, but that doesn’t mean we all have to accept it,” Thompson said about the fairness ordinance comment.
“The ordinance in itself is a good ordinance. But the way I was raised up, I don’t see it the way others see it.
“And as I said Monday night, if the ordinance was to pass, I will honor the wishes of the council.”
About Morales, Thompson said he was referring to what the community has done.
“It bothered me Jaime got hurt, and it bothers me the city and citizens have to be part of this,” he said. “It doesn’t bother me he sued. Jaime has that right.
“The community has stepped up and done what we should have done.”
Tammy Lusby-Mitchell said she was proud of the community discussion and hoped this would not distract from the work that was done.
“The handling of the discussion around the passage of the Fairness Ordinance made me very proud to be a citizen of Georgetown, she aid. “For over five hours in a two-week time frame, the good people of Georgetown had a robust discussion about an issue that was important to our city. People were passionate on both sides of the issue.
“What impressed me most was the respect shown by both sides on the issue. People listened to one another and let the civic process work. I was honored to be a part of that process.
“I am disappointed about the comments that were made by the two council members. Those comments are inconsistent with what we are as a council and what we are as a city. My hope is that this will not distract or diminish the outcome of the important work that was done.”
Steve MCClain can be reached at email@example.com.