By STEELE HAUGEN
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS
A pathetic terrorist.
That’s what Madras City Councilor Austin Throop called another councilor on Facebook recently.
A comment that eventually led to his resignation.
The situation started when Councilor Jennifer Holcomb posted a photo of herself on a local CrossFit gym’s Facebook page after a workout.
Throop believed the post advocated the spread of COVID-19 by not wearing a mask or social distancing.
“Uneducated, Trumpster, terrorist, Nazi, this is just a small sample of the statements that Mr. Throop has used against fellow citizens of Madras, Jefferson County and me personally,” Holcomb said at the city council meeting.
During the special council meeting Friday, Holcomb commented on Throop’s words.
“I am a mom, a license realtor, a cross fit coach, a business owner, a member of Jefferson County Rotary and a Madras City Councilor,” she said. “I have spent hundreds of hours volunteering in this town and in this community. A terrorist, I most certainly am not.”
Holcomb said in Friday’s meeting that the attacks by Throop made her question the safety of her children and herself.
“When Jennifer started to tell me that felt her life was in danger… it clicked in me,” Throop said.
Holcomb also said she did not think Throop could serve the citizens of Jefferson County.
“I would ask that Mr. Throop resign as Madras city councilor, and if you choose not to resign, then I will ask Chief Stanfield to investigate you for official misconduct,” Holcomb said.
Shortly after talking to the Madras Democratic chair, after the meeting, Throop resigned.
He claims he stepped down afraid the police would feel pressure to arrest him.
“I was a little afraid for my freedom and I say that respectfully,” Throop said. “I just don’t want people to keep getting more angry, and if this is what it takes for our community to start healing, then that is fine by me.”
Throop says if he had to do it all over, he would have stopped visiting Facebook immediately.
He also said social media has made it difficult to keep a level head and to keep the focus on everything.
“I am very sorry to everyone in the city of Madras and Central Oregon,” Throop said. “I am sorry that it had to come to this.”
The City of Madras is working to fill Throop’s vacant seat.