Berger criticizes Lowe for social media joke

First Posted: 1/2/2015

LIMA — Lima’s mayor criticized a council member for a joke on his Facebook page, and the councilman fired back Friday.

Third Ward councilman Jesse Lowe II posted a joke on Facebook: “When a cop is in a high speed chase….does that fit the old saying ‘when pigs fly’?”

Lima Mayor David Berger posted a screenshot of the post, writing the post “is demeaning to the Lima Police Department and entirely unacceptable from an elected official of the City.” Berger then stated that Lowe owes the department and all officers a written apology. Berger declined further comment, stating in an email that “my comments stand as I have posted them.”

Sharing that sentiment was Lima Police Department Chief Kevin Martin, who was “greatly disappointed” with Lowe’s post.

“For him to make such a disparaging remark referring to police officers as pigs, I feel it’s completely unacceptable,” he said. “He may have felt it was a joke, but it is not the kind of joke someone in his position should be making.”

Lowe, whose Facebook page is not currently available, responded that the post was only intended as a joke and does not reflect his views on the Lima Police Department.

“To the LPD, I apologize if they feel it was in poor taste,” he said. “To the citizens of the 3rd Ward and to the City of Lima, if you read my page, I continuously post different jokes to make people laugh and to lighten people’s loads.”

During his statement, Lowe asserted that Berger’s indignance has political motivations with Lowe intending to run for City Council president.

“[If there is] any way he can demean my character or make me look foolish or make the LPD feel that I am not on their side, he’s going to do it,” Lowe said.

He also claims that Berger has squandered many other opportune times to take a stand for principles and for the city.

“The mayor has had many incidents within this city where he could have spoken out and stated his opinion and helped different situations,” Lowe said. “He chose to keep his mouth shut.”

Lowe also voiced concerns about the mayor using his time to critique his Facebook posts, claiming it was a waste of taxpayer money.

“We pay the mayor over $131,000 a year,” he said. “I pray that he finds something better to do and use the taxpayers’ money better than sitting and stalking my Facebook page.”

Martin had not heard Lowe’s remarks at the time he was interviewed, but he said if he heard Lowe’s apology, he would accept it.

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