A Charlottesville judge has dismissed the petition to remove Vice-Mayor Wes Bellamy from office. This decision stemmed from a public concern over a series of twitter posts from Bellamy which occurred between 2009 and 2014. The twitter posts were not only vulgar, but also contained misogynistic and anti-gay messages.
Charlottesville resident and blogger Jason Kessler lead the movement to have Bellamy removed from office. Kessler filed the petition on February 16th as a direct response to the tweets from Bellamy’s twitter account.
In the petition Kessler stated, “In November of 2016, it was discovered that Mr. Bellamy previously produced a litany of hateful and discriminatory messages attacking caucasians, women, homosexuals and African-Americans on Twitter…These statements went so far as to promote messages reasonably construed to condone and promote actions that would constitute sexual assault or rape.”
Bellamy has since been put on administrative leave and has resigned from his appointment to the Virginia State Board of Education, but Kessler does not believe it is enough. He views the tweets as a reflection of the community of Charlottesville.
Kessler described this in his petition, saying, “This misuse of office has had a material adverse impact on [the] City by creating a significant number of negative reports and harming the City’s reputation.”
The petition needed to garner over 1500 signatures, but it fell short by 983.
Bellamy, who has apologized profusely, stated, “I’m glad that the court decided to judge the way in which they did…what matters most is how you respond.”
Kessler does not think he will pursue the required signatures to form a new case against Bellamy.