Waterville Mayor Nick Isgro made his first public appearance at a city council budget workshop Tuesday night, one day after several residents began a recall effort against him and after he resigned, under pressure, from his position as a vice president at Skowhegan Savings Bank.
Republican Gov. Paul LePage, a former mayor of Waterville, weighed in Tuesday on his behalf.
Isgro has been under fire for a recent tweet mocking Parkland School shooting survivor David Hogg. He also has a history of making anti-immigrant and other inflammatory social media posts.
Speaking briefly with reporters before and after the workshop Tuesday night, Isgro called reports about him “fake news” and said he would continue in his role as mayor.
“This is about the people of Waterville and we have an absolutely, elitist majority on the city council,” he said. “We have well-moneyed groups like the Maine People’s Alliance, who aren’t in Waterville and their friends like Karen Heck and the Democrats in the city of Waterville.
“The reality is if you look at what’s out there the majority of the people support me. I’ve always had their back. I’m going to continue to have their back.”
Isgro declined to say what he thought was “fake news” or to defend his remarks. Meanwhile, the Waterville Sentinel reports that LePage confirmed he sent a letter in defense of Isgro to the president of Skowhegan Savings Bank this week, saying, “your decision to discharge Nick Isgro is a mistake you will likely come to regret.”
LePage went on to accuse the bank of falling prey to what he called “leftist hate ideology that refuses to recognize free speech.”
The bank president did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Supporters of the recall effort have until May 1 to gather more than 850 signatures to force a vote.