Dan Clevenger, the mayor of Marionville, Mo., resigned Monday night, just six days after he told reporters he "kind of agreed" with Frazier Glenn Miller, the former Ku Klux Klan leader who allegedly shot three people to death at two Kansas Jewish centers last week.
In an interview with KSPR, Clevenger defended Miller, who he described as a "friend," and said he agreed with some of the former KKK leader's views about Jews.
"There some things that are going on in this country that are destroying us. We've got a false economy and it's, some of those corporations are run by Jews because the names are there," he told KSPR. "The fact that the Federal Reserve prints up phony money and freely hands it out, I think that's completely wrong. The people that run the Federal Reserve, they're Jewish."
Those beliefs, combined with an anti-Semitic letter he sent to a local paper nearly a decade ago, were too much for some Marionville residents, many of whom were calling for Clevenger's resignation at a town meeting Monday night
"We must show our neighbors, state, our nation and a global community our true, kind, caring, loving and accepting community," resident John Horner said. "We simply cannot tolerate a public official who makes anti-Semitic comments."
Another resident, John McCormick, told the meeting he felt Clevenger's comments smeared Marionville's good reputation. "We have been slimed, like in Ghostbusters," he said.
It seems most of Horner's neighbors agreed; Marionville's aldermen had voted 4-1 to start the impeachment process before Clevenger finally resigned.
Gene Smith spoke in support of the mayor and pointed at his fellow residents.
"I have seen a lot more hatred from some of you people than I have seen out of Dan Clevenger," he said. "I thought we had free speech in America."
Smith blamed the media for "twisting" Clevenger's words, and when a News-Leader reporter later asked if he could take his picture, Smith tried to hit the reporter with one of his crutches.
A woman who stood next to him also spoke.
"I personally know and love a Jew," she said. "I have a grandson who is Jewish."
After saying that, she added that the investment firm of Goldman Sachs in New York City has played a large role in damaging the U.S. economy.