MADISON, Wis. — Fourteen alders have asked whomever used a derogatory word towards a community activist at Tuesday’s council meeting to come forward.
The word can be heard in the virtual council meeting around 08:14:36. The audio sounds like a man calling the woman who is about to speak a c—.
“I’m demanding his resignation because that behavior is unacceptable,” said Shadayra Kilfoy-Flores, a community activist who believes that alder Paul Skidmore was directing the word at her.
“As disappointing as his behavior was I still feel very grateful for the outpouring of support,” Kilfoy-Flores said.
Kilfoy-Flores said there is no doubt in her mind that Skidmore was the person who said it. In a community letter asking for Skidmore to resign, Madison’s Community Response Team backs Kilfoy-Flores saying there has not been a positive history with Skidmore.
Fox 47 attempted to call, message and email Skidmore several times for comment but he has not gotten back to us.
Skidmore is quoted in a Cap Times article denying he made the derogatory remark.
“I don’t say things like that,” Skidmore told Cap Times. “I don’t use vulgarity in meetings and I don’t use it outside of meetings. It’s not acceptable. It sounded kind of like me but it wasn’t me.”
Mayor Satya-Rhodes Conway called the behavior “unacceptable” but did not specifically name Skidmore as the person who said it.
District 13 Alder Tag Evers is one of the 14 alders who have asked the person responsible to come forward but do not specifically name Skidmore in their letter.
“It’s important that the person who did this come forward of their own accord,” Evers said. “Tuesday night should have been a night of celebration. We passed historic legislation around police accountability and we should have been celebrating and instead we are left with this pain and confusion.”
Evers said the apology to the public is most important and the next step is making sure whoever said it is held responsible.
“The truth needs to come out because without truth, there’s no healing. Without truth, there’s no reconciliation. I would ask all alders to sign it, including the individual who some have suggested and many believe are responsible. If it’s true he did not do it, I’m sure he would want the truth to come out as well. Therefore, we should all be calling for an investigation so we can figure out just exactly what happened.”
Kilfoy-Flores said if Skidmore does not resign on his own, she plans on filing a complaint with the City Attorney to try to remove him from Common Council.