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Racist York County mayor resigns; but may be backtracking

Hundreds of West York residents two weeks ago attended a council meeting to protest the racist actions of their mayor, Charles Wasko. He has sent council a resignation letter. 

The president of the West York Borough Council says its embattled mayor, Charles Wasko, has indicated he may be backtracking on the resignation he sent to the council.

Shawn Mauck said Wasko on Tuesday had emailed his resignation to the council in a letter that outlined contingent demands.

“He’s debating whether he meant it or not. He’s debating with himself,” Mauck said on Wednesday afternoon. “Council’s decision is he wrote letter and we imagine he meant what he said.”

Council has accepted the terms of the resignation and will consider the request effective 10 days from Tuesday. Council will officially accept it during Monday’s council meeting.

PennLive has made repeated attempts to speak with the mayor, but he has declined.

Mauck said most of the demands involve personnel matters, which he cannot discuss publicly. Council, however, agreed to one of his demands regarding the position of chief of police. He said council based the acceptance of Wasko’s resignation on that demand.

Wasko demanded that council put in place a process where by a sergeant can be put in place at the ready to fill the slot of chief of police. Mauck said the borough already has such a process in place.

West York Borough Council votes to censure racist mayor

“To me it’s really poor behavior and a continuation of bad judgment,” Mauck said. “He has a record of poor judgment.”

Wasko ignited a firestorm and outcry in his community – and across the country – a few weeks ago when news that he had been posting racist comments on Facebook surfaced. Some of the comments and memes were aimed at President Obama and his family, and some intimated violence towards the president.

To date, members of the Legislature, including Senators Scott Wagner (R-York) and Vincent Hughes (D-Philadelphia), as well as Gov. Tom Wolf have called for his resignation, urging the Senate to proceed with impeachment in the meantime.

Hundreds of residents in this small working-class community have voiced outrage at the mayor and his actions. Wasko in the meantime has made no public appearances to address the situation swirling around his actions. He has blamed the media for his troubles.

The resignation will become effective on Oct. 21.

Shawn called Wasko’s email “an absurd list of demands.”

“The mayor is in no position to make demands about anything,” he said. “His actions are clear. What he did was wrong and frankly he should have resigned two weeks ago.”

Upon the official resignation, council will appoint someone – most likely Mauck, who is the council president – to finish out the current term, which ends in Dec. 2017.

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