Airway Heights City Council votes in favor of 'no confidence' re - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Airway Heights City Council votes in favor of 'no confidence' resolution

Posted: Updated:
City Council members will vote on a "No Confidence" resolution Monday night City Council members will vote on a "No Confidence" resolution Monday night
  • Also on KHQ.comMore>>

  • Possible Sanctions Against Airway Heights Mayor

    Possible Sanctions Against Airway Heights Mayor

    Friday, July 17 2015 9:49 PM EDT2015-07-18 01:49:07 GMT
    Friday, July 17 2015 9:49 PM EDT2015-07-18 01:49:07 GMT
    AIRWAY HEIGHTS, Wash.- Public sentiment is turning against Mayor Patrick Rushing of Airway Heights after his controversial Facebook comments calling President Obama a "monkey man" and comparing the First Lady's looks to a gorilla. On Friday KHQ obtained a copy of the final resolution drafted by City Attorney Stan Schwartz.  >>
    AIRWAY HEIGHTS, Wash.- Public sentiment is turning against Mayor Patrick Rushing of Airway Heights after his controversial Facebook comments calling President Obama a "monkey man" and comparing the First Lady's looks to a gorilla. On Friday KHQ obtained a copy of the final resolution drafted by City Attorney Stan Schwartz.  >>
  • Some Airway Heights residents concerned by mayor's Facebook post

    Some Airway Heights residents concerned by mayor's Facebook post

    Saturday, July 11 2015 7:41 PM EDT2015-07-11 23:41:02 GMT
    Tuesday, July 14 2015 2:17 AM EDT2015-07-14 06:17:39 GMT
    AIRWAY HEIGHTS, Wash - The mayor of Airway Heights, Patrick Rushing, doesn't hold back his political views when it comes to his Facebook page. KHQ got a message from one of his followers who was extremely offended by a comment Mayor Rushing posted about President Obama and the First Lady.>>
    AIRWAY HEIGHTS, Wash - The mayor of Airway Heights, Patrick Rushing, doesn't hold back his political views when it comes to his Facebook page. KHQ got a message from one of his followers who was extremely offended by a comment Mayor Rushing posted about President Obama and the First Lady.>>
AIRWAY HEIGHTS, Wash. -

Update: Monday night, after an hour of public comment from the citizens of Airway Heights, the City Council voted 5-1 in favor of a resolution which expresses no confidence in their mayor.

While many residents and council members of Airway Heights called for Mayor Rushing's resignation, Rushing told the council meeting that he will not step down as mayor.

Rushing will remain in office unless there is a recall.

The no confidence vote comes after Rushing made controversial comments on his Facebook page, that were first reported by KHQ on July 10. Rushing said in the council meeting Monday that he has deleted his Facebook page, calling it "the Devil's tool."

Monday evening, the Airway Heights City Council will consider Resolution 2015-018, which expresses "no confidence" in their Mayor. Airway Heights Mayor Patrick Rushing has been under fire since July 10, when KHQ broke the story that comments he made on his public Facebook page could be construed as racist in nature.

We were alerted to the comments by one of Rushing's Facebook followers who said he was shocked by the comments his mayor was making, going so far as to write on Facebook, "Pat, you're committing political suicide." Normally this is not something we would ever repeat on air or in text, but since the person who contacted us found it so disturbing we felt we had to contact the mayor as to why he would post such a thing.

Airway Heights Controversy: City attorney working on resolution regarding Mayor Pat Rushing's employment

The comments posted by Mayor Rushing were in response to an earlier comment made in which a woman refers to Michelle Obama as "Gorilla faced." Rushing then writes, ", nailed it! Gorilla face Michelle... can't disagree with that. The woman is not attractive, except to monkey man Barack. Check out them ears. Lol."

Some felt that Mayor Rushing's comment was racist. On Friday, July 10, we showed Mayor Rushing the comments, and he confirmed he posted it. We asked him why and he said, "It's just playful back and forth banter that my friends and I do." Rushing also said the comments weren't meant to be racially offensive, adding, "If anyone is offended, I apologize. It was not meant to be offensive to anybody." Mayor Rushing subsequently made his Facebook page private.

Some people were offended, and at the Airway Heights City Hall, officials took quick action. Following our story on Friday, they called an Executive Session on Monday, July 13. At that meeting all members of the Airway Heights City Council asked Mayor Rushing to step down. Rushing refused, saying, "I will not step down. But I will do everything I can to turn the tide around." Council members directed City Attorney, Stan Schwartz, to draft a resolution outlining the dissatisfaction of the council, their concerns, and possible sanctions. That resolution was supposed to be ready on Monday, July 20, but on Friday, July 17, the Deputy Mayor contacted KHQ to say the draft was already finished.

KHQ was the only station to receive a copy, which expressed "no confidence" in the mayor as a result of his "offensive, derogatory public communications. The resolution also includes sanctions that would limit the mayor's travel and use of city equipment as well as prevent Rushing from speaking in an official capacity. 

Airway Heights City Manager, Albert Tripp, says that his office has been getting calls from across the country from people who think the mayor should resign. "We don't condone," Tripp said. "We don't accept or promote these statements or behaviors."

One Airway Heights resident was so adamant about Rushing stepping down that she wrote messages in chalk all around her home reading "Time for a new mayor in AH" and "Hate speech is most dangerous from public figures."

KHQ will be at Monday night's city council meeting and will update how members vote on the resolution.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Detectives identify woman found in Spokane River

    Detectives identify woman found in Spokane River

    Thursday, September 20 2018 8:35 PM EDT2018-09-21 00:35:31 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Update: Detectives have identified the woman found in the Spokane River September 15 just hours after releasing a rending of what she may have looked like. Detectives continue to work to determine what occurred prior to her death.

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Update: Detectives have identified the woman found in the Spokane River September 15 just hours after releasing a rending of what she may have looked like. Detectives continue to work to determine what occurred prior to her death.

    >>
  • Suge Knight pleads to manslaughter over fatal confrontation

    Suge Knight pleads to manslaughter over fatal confrontation

    Thursday, September 20 2018 5:16 PM EDT2018-09-20 21:16:55 GMT

    LOS ANGELES (AP) - Former rap mogul Marion "Suge" Knight has pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter and after he ran over two men, killing one, nearly four years ago.    The Death Row Records co-founder entered the plea Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court and has agreed to serve 28 years in prison.

    >>

    LOS ANGELES (AP) - Former rap mogul Marion "Suge" Knight has pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter and after he ran over two men, killing one, nearly four years ago.    The Death Row Records co-founder entered the plea Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court and has agreed to serve 28 years in prison.

    >>
  • School bus drops off kids over an hour late after driver was lost

    School bus drops off kids over an hour late after driver was lost

    Thursday, September 20 2018 10:24 PM EDT2018-09-21 02:24:04 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Durham Bus Services has had a rough start to the school year. Less, than one week in, Durham had to answer for a bus driver who dropped off a kindergartner at the wrong bus stop. Then, they had to respond to parents' concerns about overcrowding on school buses. On Thursday, they were once again addressing a serious parent concern.

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Durham Bus Services has had a rough start to the school year. Less, than one week in, Durham had to answer for a bus driver who dropped off a kindergartner at the wrong bus stop. Then, they had to respond to parents' concerns about overcrowding on school buses. On Thursday, they were once again addressing a serious parent concern.

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • Bear sleeping off honey binge removed from Montana yard

    Bear sleeping off honey binge removed from Montana yard

    Friday, September 21 2018 3:32 PM EDT2018-09-21 19:32:03 GMT

    BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) - A black bear, apparently sleeping off a honey binge, was removed from a Bozeman yard and released out of town.    Police say a Bozeman resident called Thursday morning after being unable to rouse the 25-year-old female bear from her slumber and scare her away.    Police reported on Facebook that it appeared the bear "partook" in the neighbor's honey bee hives before lying down to rest. 

    >>

    BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) - A black bear, apparently sleeping off a honey binge, was removed from a Bozeman yard and released out of town.    Police say a Bozeman resident called Thursday morning after being unable to rouse the 25-year-old female bear from her slumber and scare her away.    Police reported on Facebook that it appeared the bear "partook" in the neighbor's honey bee hives before lying down to rest. 

    >>
  • Idaho prison officials send more inmates out of state

    Idaho prison officials send more inmates out of state

    Friday, September 21 2018 3:24 PM EDT2018-09-21 19:24:16 GMT
    Escape attempt by convicted Idaho killer fails.Escape attempt by convicted Idaho killer fails.

    BOISE, Idaho - Idaho Department of Correction officials say they have moved another 150 inmates to a prison in Texas because there aren't enough prison beds in Idaho. 

    >>

    BOISE, Idaho - Idaho Department of Correction officials say they have moved another 150 inmates to a prison in Texas because there aren't enough prison beds in Idaho. 

    >>
  • Rosenstein denies that he proposed secretly taping Trump

    Rosenstein denies that he proposed secretly taping Trump

    Friday, September 21 2018 3:01 PM EDT2018-09-21 19:01:49 GMT

    WASHINGTON (AP) - Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is denying a report in The New York Times that he suggested last year he secretly record President Donald Trump in the White House to expose chaos in the administration.    Rosenstein says the story is "inaccurate and factually incorrect."

    >>

    WASHINGTON (AP) - Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is denying a report in The New York Times that he suggested last year he secretly record President Donald Trump in the White House to expose chaos in the administration.    Rosenstein says the story is "inaccurate and factually incorrect."

    >>