West York mayor censured over racist Facebook posts

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WEST YORK, Pa. - Days after racist posts on social media from Mayor Charles Wasko became public, borough council unanimously censured Wasko, demanding his immediate resignation.

"We will send this message to the mayor informing him his legislative body rebukes him in every way," council President Shawn Mauck said. "If you are a human being with a heart that is beating, you would reject the message of hate he has put forth."

An overflow crowd spoke out Monday night. Some of them held a prayer circle outside the borough office before the meeting, while others protested Wasko.

"This mayor represents us, represents where we came from and it's embarrassing to have a mayor that can get away with saying racist things online and still be in office," Lydia Jones, one of the demonstrators, said.

Wasko did not attend the meeting, but one man spoke in favor of Wasko, defending his right to free speech.

"If anyone wants to turn this country into a Socialist, Communist hellhole, you're going to have to go through me," he said as the crowd jeered him.

Many others said Wasko's posts were hate speech.

"If this man is threatening to lynch President Obama for his blackness, can anyone really say that he is going to serve and protect to the fullest extent of both the law and his own personal ability the residents of West York Borough who are African-American?" Carla Christopher, a resident, said.

There is nothing under current state law that would enable borough council or a judge to remove Wasko from office, although the borough solicitor will attempt to find a way to do so.

There is no punitive action attached to censure, which, in this case, is a essentially a strong reprimand by the council against Wasko.

There is no indication that Wasko would resign. His term concludes next year.