West York mayor blames media in controversy over racist Facebook posts

West York Mayor Charles Wasko
West York Mayor Charles Wasko

WEST YORK, Pa. (WHTM) – The embattled mayor of West York, censured by the borough council this week over racist posts on his Facebook page, has posted a statement on his door.

The statement by Mayor Charles Wasko to the media reads, in part, “when I respond with the truth, my version gets cut..”

The notice also reads, “Your liberal, biased news organizations that your work for has the final say in your story,” and “the most powerful man in the United States is not the President, it is the newspaper editor.”

(Courtesy: Teresa Boeckel/YDR)
(Courtesy: Teresa Boeckel/YDR)

Council members were going to ask Wasko to resign at Monday’s meeting, but he did not attend. The council also approved a motion that gives the borough solicitor the authority to look into and take any legal means necessary to remove Wasko as mayor.

The censure resolution says Wasko has torn apart the community by publicly sharing unacceptable comments depicting, racism, bigotry, misogyny, religious and ethnic slurs. It also says the mayor has disrupted council meetings with “bombastic and threatening behavior.”

State lawmakers in the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus are also exploring legal avenues to remove Wasko from office, and Gov. Tom Wolf has said Wasko should resign.

West York Mayor Charles Wasko
West York Mayor Charles Wasko

“The actions of the West York mayor are beyond reprehensible, and Governor Wolf believes he should absolutely resign immediately,” Wolf’s spokesman said in a statement. “The mayor’s comments are shameful and racist, and this kind of bigotry has no place in society, let alone government.”

Wasko has indicated no intention of stepping down. In an interview last week with ABC27 News, he said the controversy is just a smoke screen to cover up what’s “really going on” with the council. He also stood by his First Amendment right to free speech.

“The racist stuff, yeah, I’ll admit I did that, and I don’t care what people label me as,” he said, “but I will bring everything out and there will be more resignations than mine, believe me.”

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