Franklin councilman removes Facebook page after backlash for shared post

(WISH Photo)

FRANKLIN, Ind. (WISH) — A post shared on Facebook by a Franklin council member is causing controversy, and some people who live in that community are calling for his resignation.

Councilman Joe Ault took down his Facebook page after receiving backlash for what he shared last week.

The post came just one day after reports that President Donald Trump used an expletive to describe certain nations during a meeting about immigration. The screenshot taken before the post was removed shows the nature of what was shared by councilman Ault last Friday night.

The post uses the same expletive that the president is accused of using. Mayor Steve Barnett told 24-Hour News 8 the post does not represent the city and people of Franklin.

“The mayor’s office did not approve of what was put on Facebook, and I talked to several city councilmen very disappointed in how it all came about,” said Mayor Barnett.

The mayor says he called Ault after learning about the post. Ault has been on the council for more than 20 years. He’s also a reserve deputy with the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office.

“He was pretty remorseful of what damage he thinks he may have done to Franklin, and I told him I wished he would take the post down, and a few hours later the post ended up being gone,” Barnett said.

24-Hour News 8 called, emailed and stopped by Ault’s last known address for his side of the story, but no one came to the door.

“I feel that the other officials need to take a stand because it’s not acceptable,” said Erin Davis, who lives in Franklin.

Davis is part of a group called People For a Progressive Franklin, and members plan to attend a council meeting next Monday night.

“We’ll ask him to resign. We’ve prepared all of our thoughts that we have gathered in the past 24 hours on why we think he’s not fit for office,” Davis said.

Ault is an elected official. The mayor said there’s only so much that he could do.

“There’s a lot of people that want myself or the city council to encourage him to resign, but he is an elected official and he works for the people and he does not answer to the mayor’s office,” said Mayor Barnett. “I told Joe that he needs to think about what’s best for the city and do what he thinks is best. His response was he didn’t think at this time he wanted to step down.”

The next council meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday at City Hall.

The Johnson County Sheriff’s Office also launched an internal investigation because the councilman is a reserve deputy.