Airway Heights Mayoral controversy moves from City Hall to Halls - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Airway Heights Mayoral controversy moves from City Hall to Halls of Social Media

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Airway Heights Mayor Pat Rushing under fire after controversial comments Airway Heights Mayor Pat Rushing under fire after controversial comments
AIRWAY HEIGHTS, Wash. -

As of 11:23am Wednesday morning, Patrick Rushing remains the Mayor of Airway Heights, at least in name. 

On Monday, July 20, KHQ was the only station to stream the city council meeting in which Airway Heights Council members voted to strip Rushing of his Mayoral power. In a 5-1 vote (the lone dissenting vote came from Rushing himself) Council members approved a resolution that imposes strict sanctions on Rushing's future as Airway Heights Mayor. 

Among the sanctions: he is not allowed to speak on behalf of the city; he cannot be reimbursed for money by the city; he cannot travel on the city's dollar; and more. He was also asked to forfeit his salary ($2,000/month), but he chose not to do so. 

Council members crafted the resolution of no confidence after KHQ broke the story about controversial comments made by the mayor on his public Facebook page. We were alerted to the comments by a Facebook friend who was offended after reading them on the mayor's page. Rushing admitted to calling President Obama a "monkey man" and writing that Michelle Obama had a "gorilla face." He said it was a joke between friends and he didn't mean to offend anyone. 

READ: Hit and run charges against Airway Heights Mayor dropped

But the city council was quick to separate themselves from Rushing, calling an executive meeting just two days after our first report. In that meeting they asked Mayor Rushing to resign but when he refused to do so, they began working on that resolution. 

In the last 48 hours the battle over Mayor Rushing has moved from City Hall, to the Halls of Social Media. There are two Facebook pages dedicated to the controversy: one is in support of Mayor Rushing and the other asks for an immediate recall. 

READ: Spokane NAACP weighs in on Airway Heights Mayor statements

On the Support page members write "This page is intended to show support to the Mayor despite all the news controversy. We know and love the REAL person and not what the news is trying to depict him as. Please like, share and support Mayor Rushing." 

On the Recall page members write "This forum will be used to collaborate with like minded individuals in the removal of Patrick Rushing from the position of Mayor in the City of Airway Heights."

Right now both groups have the same number of supporters: 12. 
 

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