BOSTON (CBS) – Michael Loconto, the chairman of the Boston School Committee, resigned Thursday, a day after he was heard mocking names of some people during a meeting.
Loconto made the comments in a virtual meeting Wednesday night and was quickly criticized on social media. Several city council members demanded he resign.
Loconto apologized Thursday morning, writing on Twitter, “I want to apologize for the comments I made last night. It was not ever my intention to mock anyone. I know what was in my head and my heart but I make no excuses. I know how my words were heard and how they hurt. I have always tried to lead my life , publicly and privately, by treating people with dignity and respect. To those who I offended, I offer again my sincerest apology and ask for your forgiveness.”
A short time later Boston Mayor Marty Walsh issued a statement saying Loconto resigned.
“Chairman Loconto notified me earlier this morning that he is stepping down from the Boston School Committee, and I have accepted his resignation. While he conveyed to me his personal embarrassment and his desire to seek forgiveness, his comments were hurtful and wrong,” the mayor said.
“None of us wishes to be defined by a single moment in our lives and no one knows that better than me. Michael is someone who has done important and difficult work for the people of Boston, and especially our children, but we cannot accept the disparagement of members of our community.”
City Councilor Annissa Essaibi-George was logged on during the Zoom meeting. It hit home for her, and other city councilors who took to Twitter to call for Loconto to resign.
“The secretary of the school committee was listing the next group of names that were preparing to offer testimony, and the chair started to mock sort of ethnically sounding names,” said Essaibi-George. “I think we’re all happy that he has resigned, but it doesn’t mean the harm that was done goes away.”
Boston City Councilor and Mayoral candidate Andrea Cambell also chimed in on Loconto’s comments.
“I think it reminds folks that race and racism are real,” said Campbell. “That people have things within their hearts, right, that come out in public places.”