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CareerSource Palm Beach County executive committee member resigns after controversial remark

"I said what I said to prevoke a response," Kenneth Kirby said
Posted at 10:50 PM, Mar 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-10 17:20:21-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A leading member of the CareerSource Palm Beach County board abruptly resigned Monday, following comments made at a meeting late last week.

CareerSource's interim president complained about the actions of its Board of Directors Chairman-elect Kenneth Kirby.

Contact 5 learned there was an audio recording and requested a copy, as did Palm Beach County's mayor, who listed to it and then called on Kirby to step down.

In the recording, a board member says, "This has come down from the state of Florida. This meeting will be audio recorded."

Contact 5 has learned the recordings only began recently because of poor record-keeping at prior CareerSource meetings.

So, when members were asked if they objected to the new mandate, Kirby asked, "Does it matter if we object?"

When told the meeting would be recorded, Kirby said, "Sieg Heil."

Kenneth Kirby resigned after 'Sieg Heil' remark
CareerSource Palm Beach County Board of Directors Chairman-elect Kenneth Kirby resigned after his controversial "Sieg Heil" remark.

Sieg Heil was the common chant at rallies in Nazi Germany before and during World War II.

"Of course, it's disgusting, and of course, it's offensive," Mayor David Kerner said.

Kerner is also a member of CareerSource's Board of Directors. He received an email from CareerSource interim President and CEO Julia Dattolo, who wrote that Kirby also "raised his arm in a Nazi salute" at that meeting.

Kerner heard the recording and had enough. He called for Kirby to step down. An hour later, Kirby resigned.

"I think that an apology to the organization and the clients that they strive to serve is in order," Kerner said. "And I hope he can walk away from this having learned something about how actions and words are both powerful things."

All of this takes place less than a month after Steve Craig, CareerSource's former president, resigned amid claims from co-workers of harassment and excessive drinking.

CareerSource Palm Beach County entrance.jpg
CareerSource Palm Beach County is chartered by the state of Florida to help job seekers find employment.

Craig denied the claims at a recent meeting.

"Allegations or implications that I am Nazi are almost beneath responding to,” Kirby wrote in his resignation letter. "I said what I said to provoke a response. I got one."

READ THE RESIGNATION LETTER HERE:

Ken Kirby Resignation Letter by Contact 5 on Scribd

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