Mayor, city council demand councilman prove racially-offensive post was result of hacker or resign

Published 6:19 am Sunday, April 23, 2023

A Mississippi mayor and city council are demanding that one of its members provide proof that his Facebook account was hacked after a racially offensive comment was posted to his account or else resign.

A post on Gautier City Council member Rusty Anderson’s account reportedly used the N-word in reference to Spring Break activities that ended in violence on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

When asked about the comment, Anderson said that his account had been hacked.

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Gautier Mayor Casey Vaughan said he wants to see proof that Anderson’s account was hacked.

The City of Gautier released the following statement about the incident:

The Gautier City Council has been made aware of a racially offensive comment purportedly posted by Councilman Rusty Anderson, Ward 4, from his personal Facebook page. Anderson denies making the post and states his personal Facebook account was hacked.

Gautier Mayor Casey Vaughan said, “While the Facebook post in question has not been authenticated, the language of the post is inappropriate and is in no way condoned by or affiliated with the Gautier City Council. The post absolutely does not represent the views of the Gautier Council as a whole, the city employees, or our community.

Councilman Richard Jackson, Ward 2, is serving his second term on the Gautier City Council and was the council’s first African American elected official.

“The Facebook post in question is offensive, hurtful, and appalling; however, that is not who we are as a Council, or who we are as a city,” said Jackson, who was first elected in 2017.

“The members of the Gautier City Council have worked well together to move this

City forward,” he said. “We are an inclusive community, and we value each member of our community and its diversity. We, the Council, value every life and every person without regard to race, nationality, or sexual orientation. The purported actions of one person does not define who we are in this City. All are welcome here.”

Mayor Vaughan has requested that Councilman Anderson provide proof that his account was hacked in order to provide positive closure for the community and the Gautier City Council. Anderson states he has contacted Facebook to obtain proof of his being hacked. If Anderson is unable to provide proof that his account was hacked, city leadership has asked him to resign.