The chairman of the Madison County Republican Party has joined London Mayor Patrick Closser in calling for the resignation of London City Council President Joseph Russell.
In a letter released Thursday night, county GOP Chairman Nicholas Adkins says he “fully supports” Mayor Closser and the city administration and “commend their decisive action in this matter.”
“I wrote the statement as representative of and on behalf of the Madison County Republican Party,” he said Friday.
Adkins also revealed that he and Closser met Tuesday with Russell and jointly asked for his voluntary resignation.
“It was a private meeting between the mayor, Russell, and myself, and I choose not to disclose what was said at this time,” Adkins said. “My discussion with Mr. Russell happened not long after I reviewed the police statement and watched the body cam video for the first time.”
Russell pleaded guilty Monday to a reduced charge of disorderly conduct stemming from a charge of domestic violence Sept. 10. At that time Russell was arrested and charged when police were called to his home after an altercation with his wife. Russell has said he does not intend to resign.
The following is the statement from Adkins released Thursday night:
“On Tuesday (December 12th), Mayor Closser and I met with Mr. Russell, in person, and jointly requested his voluntary resignation. At that time, I expressed that it is no longer appropriate for him to serve as a representative for the City of London and the Republican Party.
I am deeply troubled by Mr. Russell’s violent actions and derogatory comments. Furthermore, his public statements minimize the severity of his conduct, lack any sentiment of remorse, and demonstrate that he should not be President of Council.
The characterization of his behavior as being no worse than a traffic violation is as insulting as it is inaccurate. Strong family values are at the core of the Republican Party and Mr. Russell has not upheld and honored these principles.
Mr. Russell fails to recognize that as an elected official he is a representative of the London community and its leadership, and that his actions have reflected negatively on both.
As Chairman of the Republican Party, I fully support Mayor Closser and the city administration and commend their decisive action in this matter. I agree with every word of his letter to the public, and would urge all citizens of London, Ohio to join in the request for Mr. Russell’s resignation.
Nicholas Adkins, Chairman
Madison County Republican Party”
The Madison County Democratic Party also weighed in on the issue by releasing a statement regarding the incident on Friday afternoon.
The statement released by Ryan Steiner, Vice Chair, Madison County Democratic Party reads:
“Madison County Democratic Party stands with London Mayor, Patrick Closser in calling for the immediate resignation of London City Council President, Joe Russell, following the domestic abuse incident September 10, 2017.
The Madison County Democratic Party does not condone acts of violence, harassment or discriminatory remarks by a public official at any level. This issue has become epidemic and citizens need to know abusers will not be tolerated in our community government.
We will not be commenting on this matter beyond this statement at this time.”
Reach General Manager/Editor Gary Brock at 937-556-5759.