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The executive director of the Allegheny County Democratic Committee abruptly resigned after drawing fire from committee members for what they described as racially insensitive messages that he and his wife allegedly posted on Facebook.
Mark Salvas, 47, of Plum, whom the committee hired in September, resigned on Tuesday, according to committee Solicitor Jim Burn.
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Burn said the committee is searching for a replacement, but he declined further comment. Eileen Kelly, who chairs the committee, could not be reached Wednesday.
Salvas did not return a call seeking comment.
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“We have a zero tolerance for sexual harassment or racism of any kind,” said state Democratic Committee Chairwoman Nancy Mills. “I think Chairwoman Kelly made the right decision once she was aware of the issues.”
The controversy centers on Facebook posts allegedly made by Salvas and his wife, Cindy DeZort-Salvas, in July and September.
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“I’m not sure how to comprehend what he has up there, but it’s insensitive to African Americans,” said state Rep. Ed Gainey, D-Lincoln-Lemington, a committee member. “The action was wrong. The action was insensitive, and for that he had to go. African Americans are the backbone of the Democratic Party, and you can’t have someone at the head of your party not understanding the backbone of the party.”
One of the posts in question showed Salvas and his wife with the message,...
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