PIEDMONT (KPIX 5) — Having already resigned as Piedmont’s mayor, a scandal-plagued East Bay public servant announced Wednesday that he would step down from the city council after controversy surrounding a series of vulgar social media posts.
Former mayor of Piedmont Jim Wieler released a statement Wednesday evening that said he won’t fight public pressure any longer. Wieler is resigning from the city council just days after his inflammatory online comments forced him to step down as mayor.
He sent KPIX 5 an email Wednesday night that read, in part, “It would be unfair to the city and a personal betrayal of my principles and past efforts if I allowed this circus to continue distracting residents, the council, and city staff.”
“I also don’t need any more obscene hate mail or veiled threats of violence,” the statement continued. “I apologize for helping create this situation.”
Piedmont officials expressed some relief at the quick resolution.
“I think this is what we had hoped for. I had talked to Jeff myself,” said acting Mayor of Piedmont Bob McBain. “I think he was very much aware of what his colleagues were recommending.”
McBain had urged Wieler to step down. Last month, someone posting as Jeffrey Wieler wrote a rant on the website Quora about Hillary Clinton’s campaign for president
“Having a vagina is not a vision that inspires,” the post read. “Before some feminist harpy objects to the last sentence, I want to say, I dearly love vaginas.”
Piedmont residents also stormed a city council meeting and read some of his social media postings aloud.
Among the more inflammatory statements included the sentiments were, “Black Lives Matter encourages cop killing,” “The left is dangerous and un-American,” and “Transgenders are mentally ill.”
“In a practical sense, if you are going to use social media, better know how to use it. Two, if you’re a public official, you need to be very careful about what you say and how you say it,” said McBain. “And third and perhaps more importantly at least in my opinion, some of the things some of the things that Jeff said were just plain wrong.”
Wieler said his resignation will be effective next Tuesday. He will provide a formal letter of resignation at the meeting held that night. The council is also expected to elect a new mayor, likely council member Bob McBain.