City council members in Antioch, a city of about 110,000 people 35 miles east of Oakland, voted unanimously Friday night to remove Ken Turnage II from his post as chairman of the city's planning commission.
NBC Bay Area reports there was a swift uproar after Turnage characterized people with weak immune systems as a drain on society.
As for homeless people, he added that the virus would "fix what is a significant burden on our society and resources that can be used.”
Turnage later deleted the post but refused to resign or back down from his comments. During the two-hour council meeting held on Zoom, Turnage said his personal opinion had no bearing on his duties as a planning commissioner and that removing him would violate his freedom of speech.
But city officials countered that his posting caused a loss in confidence and created a disruption to the city. Mayor Steve Wright said politicians are held to a higher standard by representing the city to all.
After the council stripped him of his post, Turnage said that if residents had lost confidence in him, “that’s their opinion and I can’t help that.”