Crushed by the weight of public demand, two Republican councilman resigned today in Roseland after The Progress
published a racist and ethically charged text message exchange.
Councilman David Jacobs and Councilman Thomas Tsilionis are gone, according to Mayor John Duthie.
The flap started when The Progress revealed that Tsilionis asked of the Jewish Jacobs, “David how do I become Jewish? I want to be half Jewish [cheap] and half African American [endowed].”
“First the Rabbi needs to take a bigger cut,” Jacobs wrote.
“I am legally changing my name to ShwartzNigga,” Tsilionis wrote back.
Carolyne Curley first reported this morning’s news: “During this past week, inappropriate text messages between Roseland council members were made public. This morning, both Councilman Jacobs and Tsilionis have resigned. “
Mayor Duthie’s full statement is printed below:
“Essex County Republican Chairman Al Barlas, Roseland Mayor John Duthie and Roseland Republican Chairman Mary Comito announce that Councilmen Jacobs and Tsilionis resign. The recently revealed text message exchanges between Councilmen David Jacobs and Tom Tsilionis were offensive and indefensible.
“Regardless of circumstance, racial and ethnic based comments have no place in our accepted discourse. We condemn any disparaging comments in any form against any group or individual based on race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, age or disability.
“After offering their sincere apologies, Jacobs and Tsilionis both resigned their positions on the Roseland Borough Council effectively immediately.
“Roseland residents deserve all of our attention and our efforts without distractions or political fighting. It is our hope that those who have used this regrettable incident to score political points will stop and allow us to get back to the business of serving the people of Roseland.”
After the Progress story broke, numerous public officials, including Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno in a press release yesterday, and state Senator Dick Codey (D-27), called for the councilmembers’ resignation.