Brewer's Deputy Mayor resigns after being charged with filing a false police report over racist messages

BREWER, Maine (WABI) - The Deputy Mayor of Brewer is publicly apologizing over racist comments he made on social media.

Thomas Morelli resigned from the city council Wednesday after police charged him with filing a false public report.

It comes after Brewer police said Monday they were investigating an alleged hacking of Morelli's Facebook pages.

They say Morelli told them an unauthorized person gained access to his Facebook profile and posted racist comments under his account.

According to police, the "derogatory and inflammatory" comments were in reference to protests over the killing of George Floyd.

Police say an investigation revealed Morelli posted the comments himself.

He was issued a court summons.

Brewer Public Safety Director Jason Moffitt says, "We're not going to let this slide. That doesn't reflect the values of this community at all and people don't get special favoritism because of a position and I think this demonstrates that."

Brewer Mayor Jerry Goss says, "The behavior displayed by our former councilor is unacceptable in the city of Brewer. We wanted to make sure that our citizens saw that we took this seriously and we acted quickly and decisively. The statement is unacceptable."

In a statement Morelli said, "I am ashamed of my comments and behavior. The public trust of a City Councilor is vital to the citizens, and I breached that with my participation in Facebook trolling."

Mayor Goss has appointed Joe Ferris as the new Deputy Mayor.

Filing a false police report is a crime punishable by less than a year in prison and a fine of up to two thousand dollars.