UPDATE 2/11/13 @ 6:15 p.m.
POMEROY, Ohio (WSAZ) -- When Pomeroy Mayor Mary McAngus submitted her resignation Saturday, it was a huge weight off the shoulders of officer Kyle Calendine.
“It was a big sigh of relief to know that the actions were no longer going to be happening here at the office,” Calendine said. “That I could now work without the added stress, and it felt great.”
Calendine was at the center of a controversy that pitted the mayor against the entire police department. Eight people submitted complaints to council about comments the mayor allegedly made regarding Calendine's sexual orientation. For Calendine and his partner, Harold Barnhart, it was a win.
“It's been a little rocky,” Barnhart said. “But I support Kyle. In any way possible.”
“This is what we was looking for,” Calendine said. “I wish it could've been fixed a long time ago without this. But it had went on for so long I think this was the resolution that was needed.”
During the last few days of the turmoil, the mayor had been barred of any direct contact with the police department. The chief says he's relieved the tension is gone.
“It was a good moment for me,” Chief Mark Proffitt said. “Absolutely. I was relieved. This type of behavior cannot continue. And it won't continue here.”
McAngus' resignation became official at Monday night's council meeting when all council members present voted to accept it. Voters will decide in November who will fill the last two years of McAngus' term. Council President Jackie Welker will take over as mayor until the first of the year.
“We're really hoping to simply move forward with this,” Welker said. “Put the issue behind us once we accept the resignation this evening. And again move forward on more positive things in the community.”
But it may not be over yet.
“I think that it should be a lawsuit against her,” Barnhart said. “For what she did. She shouldn't get away with it.”
“She stepped far enough over the line that I think more actions need to be taken,” Calendine said.
Calendine and his partner say they are considering legal action against the village and McAngus.
Council President Jackie Welker says McAngus tendered her resignation in letter to Councilman Vincent Young and himself on Saturday.
Welker says the letter will be presented to full council at its meeting on Monday.
The resignation follows allegations of discrimination by Mayor McAngus against a gay police officer surfaced last week.
Pomeroy Police Chief Mark Proffit tells WSAZ.com Mayor McAngus made numerous derogatory comments against an officer because of his sexual orientation. He says seven others also filed complaints against the mayor with the city council.
Welker also tells WSAZ.com that council “would like to express they're full support and confidence to Officer Calendine, the Pomeroy Police Department and all Pomeroy Village employees. Our focus as a Village will now return to the many positive projects and aspects of our community.”
Welker says he will serve an interim Mayor until a new election is held.
The 78-year-old McAngus was elected Mayor in November 2011.
Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.
Calendine says when he was hired in September, it was a dream come true.
“I've always wanted to be an officer my whole life,” Calendine said.
That dream quickly turned into a nightmare when Calendine says Mayor Mary McAngus began making comments about his sexual preference. He then filed complaints when his partner visited him at the police station.
“She was even in the hiring process and she seemed fine,” Calendine said. “A few weeks later you know, she finds out I'm gay and tries to get me fired because she doesn't like who I am outside of work.”
Calendine is one of eight people, including Police Chief Mark Proffitt, and several other police department employees, who have filed discrimination complaints about the Mayor with Pomeroy Village Council.
All of the complaints allege McAngus made derogatory comments about Calendine's sexual preference. Chief Proffitt says that is unacceptable.
“I believe in integrity,” Chief Proffitt said. “I believe in fairness for everybody. And not to discriminate against anybody for any reason.”
A special council meeting was held last Monday to discuss the situation. As a result, the mayor and police department were ordered not to have any direct contact with each other.
At this point, council says it is investigating the allegations. President Jackie Welker issued a statement to WSAZ.com.
"We as a village do not support discrimination of any kind to any persons based on sexual orientation, race, gender, national origin, age, familial status, disability or any other protected class," Welker said.
Calendine says he's grateful to know his fellow officers stand by him.
“It's nice to have their support,” Calendine said. “Knowing that they don't care who I am. That they know that I'm here to help them. If there was ever something wrong, they know I'd be right there fighting for them for anything.”
The next council meeting is set for Monday at 7 p.m.
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