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Arts agency member resigns after vulgar comment about Harris

ohio arts council.jpeg
Posted at 3:49 PM, Jan 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-08 16:33:12-05

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — An appointee to the Ohio Arts Council resigned Friday after making a vulgar comment on social media about Vice President-elect Kamala Harris that also supported President Donald Trump’s false claims that he won the election.

Republican Gov. Mike DeWine said he accepted Susan Allan Block’s resignation a day after his office issued a statement saying her comments were highly offensive.

Block, of Toledo, posted the all-caps comments Wednesday after a pro-Trump mob overran the U.S. Capitol.

She was first appointed to the state agency in 2016 and reappointed by DeWine in 2019. The council oversees funding for the arts.

“Our agency does not condone or endorse these inflammatory opinions in any way, and we will continue to work in alignment with our shared values of diversity, equity, and inclusivity,” Donna Collins, the council’s executive director, said in an email Friday.

A day earlier, Collins said she couldn’t comment on the personal opinions of board members, but she issued a new statement because Block was no longer on the board.

Block is the wife of Allan Block, chairman of Block Communications Inc., which owns the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and The Blade in Toledo.

The company issued a statement that said Susan Allan Block’s social media postings do not reflect those of the company and only “represent her individual views as a private citizen; she has a First Amendment right to freedom of speech and her opinions.”

The statement also said she is not an employee or director of the company. She previously was appointed to its board in 2018; it was not clear when she left.