Uniontown Treasurer-elect, Antoinette Hodge has filed a lawsuit against certain city officials alleging that racism played a part in her being blocked from taking her seat.
What We Know:
- Hodge says that city councilman Martin Gatti took actions that eventually prevented her from being sworn in as scheduled. Gatti alleges that a poor credit history was the reason he revoked Hodge from swearing in and questioned her financial background.
- At a news conference, Hodge’s attorney, Joel Sansone revealed that the suit also named the city of Uniontown and its clerk, Kimberly Marshall, who happens to be Gatti’s sister-in-law. The suit seeks to force the city to seat Hodge and sets out to prevent city officials from interfering with her ability to execute her job.
- Hodge says that when she called to inquire about why her bond was suddenly broken, she advised that the personnel were blunt. Her attorney says that they asked if she were white or black. Also, in a conversation with officials at the bonding agency, Gatti was said to have referred to Hodge as the “colored girl”.
- Gatti denies all claims, including usage of racist language and says that he had legitimate questions about Hodge’s financial background. “Finances are finances. I don’t know how race got in this.” Gatti is now suing Hodge’s attorney for defamation.
- Hodge’s attorney revealed that her identify was stolen over 2 decades ago and damage to her credit was done but that nothing in her background would have prevented her from obtaining a bond.
- Hodge said she was “shocked, at first, because I never expected anything like this would happen”. She said her shock then turned to disgust. “I just want folks to understand that it doesn’t matter, age, color, political party, we are supposed to stand united as one body to do what’s right for our city,” she said.
Hodge ran unopposed and won in the Democratic primary and is finally approved to be sworn in on Monday.