Fort Bragg City Clerk Apologizes for Social Media Post

Welcome to 2018 where not a day goes by without some public official, somewhere posting something they wish they hadn’t on social media. Today, it’s Fort Bragg City Clerk June Lemos.

Fort Bragg City Clerk June Lemos apologized Friday for comments she posted on a satirical website amid a contentious debate over the small Mendocino coast town’s voting system.

The civic debate turned edgy when critics faulted Lemos for contributing last week to a social media post deemed racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic, noting her use of an image that showed a woman astride a blue ox bearing a yellow five-pointed star.

“I am deeply sorry that comments I posted on social media were taken as offensive, as it is never my intention to hurt anyone,” Lemos said in an email.

“What I thought was levity on a satire page was very bad judgment on my part, and I did not think it through first. I am devastated by all this.”

The comment, which has since been removed, was posted on a satirical Facebook page called “The Mendocino Bacon.”

It appeared as a comment on an anonymous posting that suggested Fort Bragg’s Paul Bunyan Days be renamed “Paulina Bunyan & His Ox ‘Blew’ Days” and that parade spectators be assigned to separate areas based on their ethnicity or nationality and given “color-coded paper ‘Stars’ to be pinned to their clothing.”

Fort Bragg attorney Jacob Patterson, who had challenged the city’s at-large voting system, and Mendocino County Democratic Central Committee co-chairman Kenny Jowers both took issue with the post. But Fort Bragg officials quickly rushed to Lemos’ defense.

“June is not a racist, she is not a Nazi. I am a lesbian and she is one of my best friends,” said Community Development Director Marie Jones.

Mayor Lindy Peters said Lemos should have never posted the image, but that she’s “a wonderful person” who “got caught up in it, not realizing the ramifications.”

“She feels awful,” Mayor Peters added.

Both said the stars referenced in the post come from the Dr. Seuss story “The Sneetches” and were not meant to allude to the Holocaust, as some had assumed.

Fort Bragg’s city manager would not say whether Lemos had been disciplined, but confirmed that a new “discrimination and harassment” training session would be held in the coming weeks.