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Bitter feelings, divisions on display at Johnstown officials’ finale | #socialmedia | #hacking | #aihp

JOHNSTOWN −The final Johnstown City Council meeting for two recalled council members showed the deep divisions and bitter feelings in a community reeling from personal attacks within city government and unprecedented growth pressures from outside.

Council President Marvin Block and Mayor Chip Dutcher, voted out of office by large margins in last week’s recall election, showed up Tuesday for their last meeting. The pair remain in office until the Licking County Board of Elections certifies the election results on Monday.

The vote to remove Block was 77% to 23% and the vote to remove Dutcher was 72% to 28%. Council will have 30 days to appoint two new council members and will also appoint a mayor and council president from the seven-member body.

The meeting included the awkward scene of police officers trying to remove the wife of the former police chief from the speaker’s podium, threats to seek the recall of another council member and shouts back and forth from the divided crowd of about 50 people.

Former police chief Abe Haroon, his wife Judy, and former finance director Dana Steffan all spoke to council during the time for citizen comments. The spouses of the former chief and finance director called for Block’s resignation in February for implying the city employees were having an affair.

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