The executive director of the League of Oregon Cities resigned Monday night, Dec. 20, after he sent private messages on Twitter to Beaverton Mayor Lacey Beaty calling her "weak" and saying she has "no soul."
The exchange between Beaty and Cully began Friday, Dec. 17, after Cully announced on his now-deleted Twitter account that he doesn't tip fast food workers.
"That's what your paycheck is for," Cully added. "Dissatisfied? Get an education and a better job."
Cully has worked with the League of Oregon Cities since 2017. The organization represents Oregon's cities, advocating on their behalf to Salem lawmakers, and provides training to elected officials.
Beaty took a screenshot of Cully's Tweet, which he subsequently deleted, likening his sentiment to the famous phrase often, perhaps apocryphally, attributed to Marie Antoinette, alleging Cully's words amounted to little more than "Let them eat cake."
"If you don't want to tip during a global pandemic," Beatty concluded, "you should make your food at home."
In a now deleted tweet @MikeDCully leader of @OregonCities says â€œlet them eat cakeâ€. If you donâ€™t want to tip during a global pandemic you should make your food at home. pic.twitter.com/o5RzqVa5oN— Lacey Beaty (@laceybeaty) December 18, 2021
Cully then sent Beaty of slew of profane private messages over a span of at least two hours, according to a complaint Beaty filed with the League of Oregon Cities on Saturday night, Dec. 18. That complaint was first reported on by The Oregonian/OregonLive.com.
A screenshot of Cully's messages was also shared with Pamplin Media Group.
• 6:36 p.m.: "Hey Lacey â€“ instead of putting me on [expletive] BLAST you bully. Talk to me." "You have NO SOUL."
• 6:58 p.m.: "Talk to ME. A white male who has NO agenda with YOU"
• 7:31 p.m.: "I [expletive] HATE weak people Lacey."
• 9 p.m.: "You are WEAK"
In her complaint, Beaty expressed her dismay over how Cully conducted himself not only toward her, but toward service workers writ large.
"I was alarmed that the leader of Oregon cities, which are desperately working on economic recovery during a global pandemic, would post such a tone-deaf comment about service workers. Our cities are our people. When Mr. Cully shared his Tweet and his disdain for workers, he was insulting our community members across the state," she wrote.
She continued: "Further, I am concerned that a state leader regularly called upon to address economic recovery in Oregon, is promoting a false narrative that the only difference between those who work in fast food and those with good paying jobs is education. As we all know, there are myriad reasons why economic disparity exists. All of us who care about our state, are working to dismantle these classist and elitist falsehoods."
In a Tweet on Sunday from his since-deleted account, Cully apologized for his remarks, a day after Beaty filed her complaint.
"I am not above recognizing and acknowledging when I am wrong. Nor do I feel exempt from issuing an apology for posting insensitive and disrespectful remarks. I own that I did this to" Beaty, he wrote, tagging another account with a name similar to the Beaverton mayor, as first reported in The Oregonian/OregonLive.com's article.
The League of Oregon Cities' board of directors unanimously voted Monday, Dec. 20, to accept Cully's resignation.
The board also named the league's general counsel, Patty Mulvihill, as acting executive director.
Mulvihill joined the LOC in 2016 as assistant general counsel and was promoted to general counsel in 2017.
Cully will be placed on paid administrative leave until March 20.
"The League of Oregon Cities Board of Directors has concluded that Mike Cully can no longer lead the organization," LOC President Keith Mays wrote in a public statement.
Mays is mayor of Sherwood, about a 10-minute drive southwest of Beaverton. He is one of two Washington County mayors on the League of Oregon Cities' five-member executive committee, alongside Mayor Steve Callaway of Hillsboro, immediately to Beaverton's west.
In a press release published Monday night, the League of Oregon Cities' board condemned Cully's behavior.
"Both the public and private statements made by Mike Cully on December 17 to Beaverton Mayor Lacey Beaty in no way reflect the mission, vision or values of the LOC," the statement read in part. "Mr. Cully's treatment of Mayor Beaty is inexcusable and does not align with who the identity of the LOC and the character of its 241 member cities, Board of Directors, employees, sponsors, and business partners. The board wishes to recognize Mayor Beaty for her courage of convictions and her willingness to bring the issue of Mr. Cully's comments to their attention."
Mays added that the behavior exhibited by Cully will not be tolerated.
"There simply is no place for comments disparaging the hard-working members of our communities, particularly those who have shown such commitment during the current pandemic," said Mays.
Cully did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Editor's note: An earlier version of this story misstated the first name of the League of Oregon Cities president. His name is Keith Mays. The story has been corrected.
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