The conservative mayor of Hudson, Ohio resigned Monday after his attempt at humor came under fire when he suggested ice fishing could lead to prostitution.
Hudson Mayor Craig Shubert made the controversial joke at a Feb. 8 City Council meeting, Fox 8 reports.
“My comments at Tuesday’s workshop were made out of concern for our community; what could become of unintended consequences of new legislation, based on my prior television news reporting experience,” Shubert wrote in a lengthy statement on his resignation.
“My attempt to inject a bit of dry humor to make a point about this, in the midst of a cold, snowy February, was grossly misunderstood,” the conservative mayor said.
Shubert said “some in our community saw this as an opportunity to engage in the politics of personal destruction by means of character assassination, blaming me for the negative international press they helped to promote.”
He said he is ready for retirement after the recent death of his wife in September and the changes he helped to bring over the past three years as mayor.
He came under fire after his comments at the council meeting were posted on social media while they were discussing requests to ice fish on Hudson Springs Lake.
“If you open this up to ice fishing, while on the surface it sounds good, then what happens next year?” Shubert asked. “Does someone come back and say, ‘I want an ice shanty on Hudson Springs Park for X amount of time?’ And then if you then allow ice fishing with shanties, then that leads to another problem: prostitution. And now you’ve got the police chief and the police department involved.”
In September, Shubert called for school board members to resign after students received a book of inappropriate prompts, which asked minors to engage in illegal behavior, including drinking beer. The high school issued an apology but accused the mayor of making baseless claims that it had child porn in the book.
The City Council will choose a replacement until the election for mayor in November.