FAIRMONT, W.Va. – The City of Fairmont has officially received the recall petitions for two council members who have both been censured and ostracized for their actions on social media.
Both petitions for Karl “David” Kennedy and Barry Bledsoe will need 2,461 valid signatures from voters who participated in November 2019’s election for the recall petition to be turned into the City of Fairmont for verification.
The petition was prepared for each Council member individually. Fairmont City Clerk, Janet Keller, said, “however, if the time comes for a special election, the City Charter allows for multiple names to be included on one ballot.”
Kennedy’s petitions said he is “dramatically opposed to the stated public policy of the City of Fairmont, and his codified responsibility as a duly elected official.” The statement in the petition went on to explain that Kennedy “brazenly and shamelessly” disregarded the rights of others and posted derogatory, defamatory, along with ethnic and racial slurs on social media.
On social media, Kennedy is accused of making derogatory, defamatory, and disparaging ethnic and racial slurs regarding East and Southeast Asians, including Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, Muslim, Arab, and Sikh communities.
Bledsoe’s petition explained that he “failed to uphold his sacred responsibility’s as a duly elected public official.” The petition went into detail explaining that Bledsoe also made multiple public statements and social media posts that contained ethnic and racial slurs, along with misogynistic, defamatory, and hate-filled attacks against community members, women, people of color, and those in the LGBTQ+ community.
Both petitions state that the councilmen have brought embarrassment and dishonor upon themselves and the City of Fairmont for their lack of respect and disregard for community diversity.
Pictured below are the recall petitions for both councilmen.