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‘It was beyond what I could ignore’: Muskegon Co. official fed up with cyberbullying from commissioner

Muskegon County’s corporate counsel is looking into the situation. 

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‘It was beyond what I could ignore’: Muskegon Co. official fed up with cyberbullying from commissioner
Posted at 7:10 PM, Jun 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-25 09:01:02-04

MUSKEGON COUNTY, Mich. — Wednesday morning, Muskegon County Commissioner Bob Scolnik saw something on Facebook that he said was “beyond what I could ignore.” Two posts with his pictures and derogatory captions. A friend called to tell him about it and that they were found on fellow commissioner Zach Lahring’s page.

“I can’t understand why he would do these things,” Scolnik said during an interview with FOX 17 on Thursday. “Both of the pictures that he basically lifted from my Facebook post, one was from a fundraiser for the Muskegon Civic Theater. I’m on their board. I was on their board years ago. It’s a button. It’s me wearing a wig.”

Scolnik said the buttons were for the fundraiser. That picture was paired with another one of Scolnik holding a woman’s pink high heel shoe. The caption read “Who knew the little queer had a shoe fetish."

The other post is of Scolnik kissing a friend on the cheek with a caption that says ‘Eather somthing went terribly wrong with the vaccine or its lgbtQai+Bobby time of year again.”

“I mean, that’s not only insulting me but he’s insulting the whole gay community because he’s using that word as an insult,” Scolnik said. “This is not somebody who should be representing Muskegon County. He represents Ravenna Township, Sullivan Township, and Fruitport Township.”

Scolnik is the chairman of the county commissioners and a local businessman. Lahring has been a commissioner for the last two years.

Scolnik said he’s known that Lahring has posted “nasty and hateful things" about him in the past. And, typically he ignores and blocks him. However, Thursday Scolnik responded by posting his frustration on Facebook, not naming Lahring, and many people responded. In fact, between his post and other people’s post about the situation, over 1400 people responded.

“People were livid about his bullying, his hate speech, pretty much everything he stands for,” Scolnik said. “I had gotten emails, letters from people saying that they love Muskegon County, and they vacation here in the summer. I have two people from Chicago that said as long as he’s there representing our county they’re not coming back here.”

FOX 17 reached out to Lahring for a comment and have yet to hear back.

FOX 17 also reached out to the Muskegon County Commission and they said via email:

“Corporate Counsel is reviewing the County’s Anti-Harassment Policy and comparing that to the States election policies on the remedies that would apply to elected officials in this situation.”

Scolnik said he believes Lahring is targeting him because he doesn’t vote the same way he does, even though they’re both republican. Nevertheless, he said what Lahring is doing is unacceptable.

“I have been an elected official, at the end of this term it’ll be 30 years. It has not been my whole life. It’s been my second career,” Scolnik said who's originally from New York. “I came in here just trying to make this a place better. I wasn’t born here and I want to leave it a little better than I found it.”