March 17, 2021

Council Calls For Indiana Mayor's Job After Profane Message

Michigan City Mayor Duane Parry - Courtesy of City of Michigan City

Michigan City Mayor Duane Parry

Courtesy of City of Michigan City

MICHIGAN CITY, Ind. (AP) — A northwestern Indiana city council has unanimously approved a resolution asking the city's mayor to resign and expressing no confidence in his ability to lead after he made profanity-laced remarks about a Black pastor.

All nine members of the City Council sponsored the resolution approved Tuesday night and asked LaPorte County Republicans and the Indiana Republican Party to publicly speak out against Mayor Duane Parry’s actions, The (Northwest Indiana) Times reported.

The pastor, Rev. James Lane, last week publicly released a voicemail message Parry left for him in which the Republican mayor declined to meet with Lane and a Spiritual Task Force. Lane and the task force wanted a meeting to address their concerns regarding Parry’s recent public admonishment of Police Chief Dion Campbell, who is Black, over a fundraising letter for police charities that Campbell included in city water bills.

Toward the end of the recording, it was apparent that Parry thought he had hung up the phone, and he could be heard saying: “They want a ... audience, you know. These Black guys, they all want a .... audience,” using an expletive twice.

“In my mind as a public official, the mayor needs to resign, and that sentiment is growing.” Democratic Councilman Don Przybylinski said Tuesday night.

Parry responded that he is “not a quitter.”

“I have not quit on anything in my life,” Parry said.

The mayor apologized to Campbell and plans to apologize to Lane and other ministers on Thursday, he said.

Parry began counseling on implicit bias and cultural diversity on March 11. He said last week that he would pursue the training for himself, all department heads and all city employees.

“I will continue this counseling indefinitely,” he said. “None of this counseling will be done at the cost of Michigan City.”

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