Just a little more than a month after taking office, a Texas mayor has announced his resignation on social media following a series of pointed questions about his personal and professional background.
Corpus Christi Mayor Dan McQueen said Wednesday on Facebook that he was stepping down.
“Consider this my resignation,” he said in the post, according to the Corpus Christi Caller-Times. “I resign immediately. The city can no longer deal with such differing views and divisiveness. I step down from my position as Mayor, in order to allow the council and city to regain focus on success.
“Sorry, they are now into my ex-wives and kids. Nothing good will come from that mess.”
Although it’s not exactly clear which specific incident led McQueen to his decision, he reportedly had been expressing frustration about the local media’s questions.
The Caller-Times reported that it “came on the heels of questions about his stated educational background, his chief of staff hire and a series of Facebook posts that took aim at fellow council members, city staff and the local media.”
According to the newspaper:
The saga leading up to Wednesday’s announcement began two days prior, with a cryptic Facebook post from McQueen where he bemoaned his first 35 days in office as being filled with attacks from council members, the public and the media. Two sentences from the post related to the remainder of his two-year term.
“I just don’t see the VALUE in this fight for 600 more. I had such HOPE for our city,” McQueen wrote.
The Caller-Times said that McQueen has repeatedly referred to his education in aerospace engineering — a claim that has recently been called into question.
In fact, McQueen, who won a nonpartisan election, was recently asked about it during an interview with ABC affiliate KIII-TV3.
“I have several degrees,” he said. “Do I have a specific degree that says ‘engineer’ on it? No. So does that make me not an engineer? I’ve been an engineer for years. … I am the most educated person on your council.”
Earlier this week, McQueen wrote on Facebook that the city council was “comprised of only High School graduates!” according to the Caller-Times.
“But that is not the Story,” he added, “you should ask WHY? I think the answer is MONEY! Attack the most educated and experienced person on the council, FUNNY!”
The Caller-Times noted that, in actuality, council members in Corpus Christi hold various degrees ranging from high school diplomas to master’s degrees. The newspaper did confirm, however, that McQueen has a bachelor’s degree in professional aeronautics from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and a master’s degree in computer information systems from Boston University.
NBC affiliate KRIS-TV said there also had been questions swirling around McQueen’s pick for chief of staff, a woman with whom McQueen was said to be romantically involved.
On Wednesday, the station stated:
KRIS 6 Investigative reporter Jessica Savage contacted McQueen’s estranged son Wyatt just after 1 p.m. today. He confirmed his father and Shari Douglas, McQueen’s chief of staff, do have a romantic relationship that goes back years. Less than an hour after the conversation, McQueen resigned.
In a text message exchange with his dad, Wyatt told us he said, “KRIS TV got in contact with me about your relationship.”
“Wow,” the mayor responded.
” . . . I didn’t lie for you and I answered everything they asked, the best I could,” Wyatt said he responded, in a phone interview with 6 Investigates.
Twenty minutes later, at 1:49 p.m., McQueen emailed his resignation to the City Secretary’s Office, and then posted a message on his personal Facebook page.
The station reported that it had been unsuccessful in its efforts to ask McQueen about his education and relationship with his chief of staff.
The mayor pro-tem, Councilwoman Carolyn Vaughn, told the Caller-Times that McQueen’s resignation may be a good option.
“It’s for the better of the city that he did that,” she said. “I believe it’s the best for the city that we move on. You can’t come back from something like that when you criticize the staff, the media and the city.
“You can’t lead like that. I know I wasn’t going to follow.”
McQueen’s seat will be filled though a special election; until then, Vaughn will serve as the acting mayor, according to the newspaper.