One of three Oklahoma County officials has resigned after they were caught on tape making racist comments.
Commissioner Mark Jennings handed in his resignation on Wednesday morning, days after the audio was leaked to the public.
Jennings, Sheriff Kevin Clardy, sheriff’s investigator Alicia Manning, and jail administrator Larry Hendrix were also allegedly heard on the recording.
Oklahoma residents and the governor are calling for the others to resign after they were caught on tape discussing killing two reporters and lynching Black people.
“I am both appalled and disheartened to hear of the horrid comments made by officials in McCurtain County,” Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt said in a statement.
The Republican governor called for the resignations of the other officials heard on the tape.
The officials made the comments during a meeting to discuss a lawsuit filed by a reporter for First Amendment violations.
The McCurtain Gazette-News published the audio recording over the weekend. The paper said it obtained the audio legally, but Sheriff Clardy says it was illegally recorded and his office is investigating.
The recording was made hours after Gazette-News reporter Chris Willingham filed a lawsuit against the sheriff’s office, according to EURweb.com.
In the recording, Manning (pictured with Sheriff Clardy) said she feared what she would do if she bumped into Willingham on the street.
Jennings reportedly said, “Oh, you’re talking about you can’t control yourself?” and Manning replied: “Yeah, I ain’t worried about what he’s gonna do to me. I’m worried about what I might do to him. My papaw [grandfather] would have whipped his a–, would have wiped him and used him for toilet paper…”
“I know where two big, deep holes are here if you ever need them,” Jennings allegedly told Manning.
“I’ve got an excavator,” said Sheriff Clardy. “Well, these [holes] are already pre-dug,” Jennings allegedly said.
In other parts of the recording, they expressed disappointment that Black people could no longer be lynched in the county, according to EURweb.
Manning, Hendrix and Sheriff Clardy have not yet tendered their resignations.