Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson told reporters on Thursday that board director Blaine Griffin was behind the tweet, which has been deleted, along with the rest of the Community Relations Board Twitter account. Jackson also said in a statement that the city’s social media policy has been reissued to all of its employees.
“We learned about the tweet: It was inappropriate,” Jackson said at a news conference, a video of which was posted on Cleveland.com. “We took actions the next morning — I did — with a strong verbal reprimand of Director Griffin, who was the one who did the tweet.
“Since then, we have eliminated the account.”
An image of the offending tweet — which also referenced the 1966 Hough riots in Cleveland — was taken before it disappeared.
The Northeast Ohio Media Group report noted that Griffin wasn’t at the mayor’s news conference because he was “accepting the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award” in Washington.
“He has worked in these very intense moments,” Jackson said, according to the report. “And because of his work, we have not been involved in the kind of stuff that we’re trying to prevent now. … But he made a mistake. And he will not do that again.”
Concerns about the Twitter feed began in late April, after the account was started as the city of Cleveland prepared for an eventual verdict in the case of Michael Brelo, a Cleveland police officer on trial for manslaughter in the fatal shooting deaths of two citizens. The mayor told reporters that Griffin thought that some users were directing messages at the account that were “not peaceful,” which is why he responded as he did.
“He got to the point where he … got caught up in that and got off message and the purpose of the account,” Jackson said. “So he reacted. And his reaction did not go well for him or anyone else.”
According to Cleveland.com, Griffin took to his personal Facebook page to vent.
“Can’t sleep tonight,” Griffin wrote earlier this week. “Worked all day to try to make sure everybody in this City has a voice and a place at the table. Yet people are questioning my intentions and integrity. I understand, though. I have to work to be better or the best.”
Watch the mayor’s news conference here: