Etue, Bezotte? Former sheriff/current county commissioner under fire for Facebook post

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Livingston County Commissioner (and former Livingston County Sheriff) Bob Bezotte is under fire for a Facebook post that is being called “racist, sexist, and aegist – plus politically intolerant” in a statement by Judy Daubenmier, the head of the local Democratic party.

This comes on the heels of a high-profile Facebook post incident in which former Brighton Township resident and current head of the Michigan State Police Colonel Kristie Etue was criticized for sharing a meme on Facebook that called NFL players who took a knee or linked arms during the National Anthem “degenerates” and “millionaire ingrates who hate America and disrespect our armed forces and veterans.” (You can read our story by clicking here).

Then, in another incident, a Hartland substitute bus driver was disciplined for allegedly posting racist content on her Facebook page.

Daubenmier and others showed up to the Monday, Dec. 4, 2017, meeting of the Livingston County Board of Commissioners to protest Bezotte’s Facebook post; during the meeting, Bezotte called Daubenmier a “liar,” and claimed he had no idea who posted the meme on his page.

The meme in question shows photos of U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla, and U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., with the text THESE TWO DESPICABLE DEMOCRATIC HAGS NEED TO BE TROWN OUT OFF CONGRESS (sic). Both have battled with President Donald Trump: Wilson for a condolence call Trump made to the widow of a soldier killed in an ambush in Niger, and Waters is leading an impeachment crusade against the president.

According to a story on WHMI, Bezotte claims the meme may have been posted on his Facebook page by an unauthorized person. He denied posting it himself, and feels the incident might be politically motivated. An investigation will apparently get underway.

Late last night, Bezotte sent a message to his Facebook friends in which he said he was “ambushed” at the Board of Commissioners meeting. He said that he sees “a lot of things on Facebook that (he disagrees) with, posted by many of (his) friends.

“Because I disagree with you doesn’t mean we are not friends,” he wrote. “We are all Americans. It doesn’t matter what color you are. What religion you are, or what church you go to. We should all aspire to support each other to make our country a better place for our children and grandchildren.

“I voted for President Trump. I believe he has done a great job so far for our country, both Republican and Democrat. From my law enforcement background, I agree with Sheriff David Clark, who correctly pointed out that we are a national of laws. We should secure our borders and welcome legal immigrants to our country.”

Bezotte went on to say that Daubenmier used the Board of Commissioners’ call to the public to “attack me personally and call me a racist because Mrs. Waters happens to be a black lady. Democrats do this all the time. They try to shut you up by calling you a racist or other types of offensive names.”

“Because I disagree with Congresswoman Waters does not mean I’m a racist,” Bezotte wrote. “I disagree with her politics and outrageous statements against President Trump.”

Bezotte represents District 6 on the Livingston County Board of Commissioners, which includes all of Marion Township; Putnam Township Precincts 2, 3 & 4; Hamburg Township Precinct 3 ;and the Village of Pinckney. As a member of the Board, Bezotte serves on the general government, health and human services, finance, and personnel committees.

In the end, Etue apologized for her Facebook post, and while Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder said he wouldn’t ask for her resignation, Etue was punished by working five days without pay.

The substitute Hartland bus driver, Sharon Kimberly of Hartland, received a written reprimand placed in her personnel file documenting the matter. She also had to remove potentially controversial public posts from her personal Facebook page, take an unpaid suspension of at least two weeks, complete racial sensitivity training. (Read the story on WHMI by clicking here.)

What will come from the investigation into Bezotte’s Facebook page — full of shared memes that support standing during the National Anthem, as well as the American flag, veterans, the military, law enforcement, and President Donald Trump — remains to be seen.


 

About Maria Stuart 75 Articles

Journalist Maria Stuart lives in Howell. She worked at The Livingston County Press/Livingston County Daily Press & Argus as reporter, editor and managing editor from 1990-2009. She is often spotted holding court at Uptown Coffeehouse.

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