Resident takes issue with 'treasonous' posts by Woonsocket Zoning Board member

Resident takes issue with 'treasonous' posts by Woonsocket Zoning Board member

WOONSOCKET - A Facebook post on the page of a member of the Woonsocket Zoning Board, which depicts a Marine holding a gun to the head of President Obama, crosses the line from free speech to treason, contends a resident who contacted both the American Civil Liberties Union and the Secret Service this week.

The picture appeared on the page belonging to Richard Fagnant, but he denied posting it when contacted this week, according to a report from the online news site GoLocalProv.

The post was one of many that have been the source of contention between Fagnant, who serves as an alternate on the five-member Zoning Board, and former mayoral candidate David Fisher. Others include a picture of a man dressed in American flag attire beside the words "I'm telling you to your face, Mohammed was a sick 54-year-old pervert that raped his 9-year-old child bride. Now if you have the problem with the truth or America, I can slap your crooked pig teeth right out of your mouth."

In another post, Fagnant writes "I've had enough of these towel heads. How about you?"

In still another, the Zoning Board member appears to be recruiting for a militia, writing, "Then we can take care of these towel head devils. No mercy for them that are on our soil. Reverse Jihad."

Fisher said he believes the posts are particularly inappropriate from someone who serves on a public board, and questioned if Fagnant's opinions would influence his decision if a Muslim family came before zoning.

"If that's the kind of reason we can expect from him there's no place for him in government," Fisher said.

"I don't want to begrudge anyone their right to free speech, but I think when you become a public official there has to be some kind of standard."

According to Fisher, the Secret Service visited Fagnant's home over the issue this week, but the zoning board member did not return calls to confirm the story.

He did, however, air his grievance with Fisher on Facebook.

"I'm being attacked by a Whiney Pansie by the name of Dave Fisher from Woonsocket," Fagnant wrote. "He has an hour show on an a.m. station and thinks he is a reporter. Big Liberal with the spend, spend attitude."

Fisher also posted his views online, in a blog that accompanies his weekly political talk show, "the Coalition."

"On the one hand, social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter have tremendous power to give voice to the voiceless; on the other, it gives the same power to hateful bigots and radical religious and political extremists to spread their messages of hate and intolerance," Fisher wrote.

Of the picture of a gun aimed at the country's commander-in-chief he added "As troubling as this image is, more disturbing is the fact that, in the world of social media, this seems to be what is passing as measured political discourse these days."

Both Fagnant and Fisher have run failed campaigns for local political office. Fagnant ran for City Council in 2013 and came in 12th out of 14 candidates for the seven-member board with 2,177 votes. Fisher ran for mayor the same year, but was knocked out of the running in a municipal primary garnering 466 votes in an election with slightly smaller turnout.

Fagnant again sought political office in 2014, challenging Rep. Stephen Casey for his District 50 seat. That time, the zoning board member came up just 148 votes shy of winning.

Fagnant was appointed to his position on the Zoning Board in 2012 by then Mayor Leo Fontaine.

Fisher said that Mayor Baldelli-Hunt has not responded to calls for his dismissal

"I don't feel well represented in the city of Woonsocket by a guy like Richard Fagnant," Fisher said.

Comments

This guy has bigot and liar written all over him. His computer was hacked? Really? If Woonsocket and the zoning board wants to be considered a serious, impartial board than this whacko needs to resign and fast and go back under his rock.

Stay away from Facebook and focus on a real scandal...your upcoming FY 2016 property tax bill.

How is this guy still allowed to serve on any board? What an embarrassment to this city.
He wanted to be a State Representative. He has proven he isn't even capable of handling a Facebook account.