Antoinette Hodge fought back against Uniontown, Pennsylvania after she accused the city of racism because officials refused to swear her in as the City Treasurer, even though she won the primary and general election. After a federal lawsuit was filed, which accused a City Council Member and a City Clerk of conspiring to keep her from taking office, Hodge will officially be the City Treasurer on Monday.
According to Pittsburgh’s Action News, Hodge claimed she was not sworn in because she is Black and “that a City Council member and the city clerk conspired to keep her from getting an insurance bond that is required for her to hold office.”
Joel Sansone, Hodge’s attorney, said that when the lawsuit went public, “this councilman told the bonding people ‘this colored girl’ shouldn’t sit as the treasurer for the city of Uniontown.” The comment was reportedly made by city council member Martin Gatti, though the accusation has not been corroborated. Sansone added, “To have her kept out because she is Black is a throwback to the days of slavery, which we are just not going to accept.”
Hodge also said, “It was like, you’ve got to be kidding me, because by now you would figure people are over that. We’ve had a Black president.”
Pennsylvania NAACP President Kenneth Houston slammed the incident, “This is the most blatant form of ignorance that I have ever seen or heard of in my 50-plus years of living.”
Gatti is denying all the accusations, and adds that Hodge was denied her seat because her bond did not go through. He said in a statement, “I did not nor have I ever made a political or professional decision based on race. I had every right to follow up on her bond status and whether or not all the facts were provided when the (bond) company found out that information had been withheld.”
Gatti claimed she could be denied due to bad credit. Hodge did say she was a victim of identity theft, which affected her credit, but she got initial approval for the bond. “It was about race. It was not about my credit because if it was my credit, the bond never would have been issued in the first place,” she said.
Antoinette Hodge will be sworn in on Monday, but the lawsuit it still moving forward, according to Action News.