A Cincinnati councilman apologized for comments he made to Kyle Plush's family, and the county's Republican Party chairman has called for his resignation.
During Tuesday's special meeting, Councilman Wendell Young implied Plush's family may seek financial compensation in the 16-year-old teen's death in a 2004 Honda Odyssey van, saying, "There's no amount of money that's going to make you happy."
Plush’s family angrily left the meeting after Young’s comments.
Plush, 16, was found dead by his father on April 10, about six hours after he made the first 911 call, WCPO reported. A preliminary autopsy report indicated that the teen died of asphyxia due to compression of his chest. The death has been ruled accidental.
“The choice of words I used, while not intending to cause hurt, allowed them to misinterpret what I was trying to say,” Young, a Democrat, said at Wednesday’s council meeting. “My fault entirely.”
Alex Triantafilou, chairman of the Hamilton County Republican Party, called for Young’s resignation, WCPO reported.
“I was offended and hurt for the family,” Triantafilou said. “I think our community has been so affected by this tragedy, and to have an elected leader in government make remarks that were so crass and painful — I was sad. I was saddened by the whole thing.”
Young's colleagues on the city council said the exchange was embarrassing.
You have to be ultra-sensitive and supportive of the family, and he definitely missed the mark there," Republican Amy Murray said. "It was shocking to me."
Democrat Tamaya Dennard also called it "shocking," while fellow Democrat Greg Landsman called it "awful."
"I don't know how to explain it. It was a terrible, terrible thing," Landsman said.
Tim Burke, the county's Democratic Party chairman, told WCPO that calls for Young's resignation were unjustified.
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