Local college board member, Republican candidate accused of raci - KPTV - FOX 12

Local college board member, Republican candidate accused of racist post, inappropriate comments

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George 'Sonny' Yellott (Facebook) George 'Sonny' Yellott (Facebook)
GRESHAM, OR (KPTV) -

A Republican House candidate and Mt. Hood Community College Educational Board member is accused of sharing a Facebook post showing President Obama in a noose and also making inappropriate remarks during board meetings.

In the wake of it all, the board announced it would hold a special executive session Tuesday evening to discuss those comments that it said were “not aligned with our mission, vision or values.”

The college declined to elaborate further, but board member Michael Calcagno told Fox 12 Tuesday afternoon that he’s calling on board member George ‘Sonny’ Yellott to resign.

“This particular board member has a history of making comments that are not based in fact, that incite violence, and that are racist, sexist and xenophobic,” Calcagno said, adding that Yellott frequently talks about race and immigration at meetings and has also made inappropriate or irrelevant comments on workplace policies for breastfeeding mothers.

In addition to serving on the board for the last three years, Yellott is running for House District 48.

Oregon Republicans are also condemning the Facebook post that Yellott allegedly shared.

Spokesman Preston Mann sent Fox 12 a statement saying "George Yellott's Facebook post is absolutely abhorrent. He should immediately remove the post, withdraw from running for office, and apologize to Oregonians for posting something so blatantly offensive and disgusting."

The post is not currently on Yellott's timeline and said he removed it, adding he doesn’t know how the post ended up on his feed and said he would never purposely share a photograph of President Obama in noose.

“This thing showed up about a week ago on my Facebook page, and I said, "oh man I don’t believe this - delete,’” Yellott said.

After a special executive board meeting, Yellott confirmed with Fox 12 that board members asked him to resign, but he declined. Yellott adds he does not plan to withdraw from the election either.

“I’ve done nothing wrong,” he said.

Yellott also told Fox 12 that illegal immigration is a big problem and has negatively affected Mt. Hood Community College. He said it’s a big reason why he doesn’t support the college going back out to taxpayers to again ask them to vote on a bond that failed in May - that money would have gone to add new buildings and improvements to the college.

“If it were not for all these people that have no legal right to be here in the first place, there wouldn’t be (this influx) of students,” Yellott said.

Calcagno said the board has no power to remove Yellott from his position, but could vote to formally reprimand him.

“Comments like this run completely counter to the mission of Mt. Hood (Community College), which is to be an inclusive, equitable and accessible place where anyone can come, feel safe and share their thoughts perspectives and ideas and grow,” Calcagno said.

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