Vice mayor calls for local city council member to resign after alleged ‘derogatory’ phone call

ENGLEWOOD — A local city council member is being asked to resign after being accused of using racist and sexist language.

Englewood City Council meetings are normally very calm, but the accusation that took place at their meeting this week created a firestorm.

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The city’s Vice Mayor Brad Daugherty made strong accusations against council member Darren Sawmiller in the last four minutes of the meeting.

“I do not support the use of any derogatory or racially motivated language by Mr. Sawmiller,” he said. “This is especially appalling considering that this language was used in a belittling manner at his child and his child’s mother.

Daugherty was referencing an audio recording that has surfaced around the Englewood community recently. It’s the basis for his calls for Sawmiller to resign.

After that, a stunned Mayor Thomas Franz, Jr. asked Sawmiller if he would like to respond.

“Under the current situation, your honor, there is an open case about a custody situation, and I’m not at legal action to say, to speak, about anything until it’s done,” Sawmiller said in an audio recording of the meeting.

Sawmilled did not resign after the meeting.

News Center 7′s Mike Campbell caught up with Franz Friday to ask about the allegations. He said, right now, its one person’s word against another.

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“If, in fact, he did use a racial term —that is not acceptable,” he said. “Nobody in the City of Englewood should accept anything like that.”

As reported on News Center 7 Friday at 6 p.m., we obtained a copy of the alleged phone call but did not play it while we continued to work to verify whose voices were on the call.

We heard a man’s voice talking to a school-aged girl known to him. The man calls the girl’s mother a sexist name before using a racial slur to describe how the girl is acting.

Campbell went to Sawmiller’s home Friday to ask about the accusations, but no one answered the door. He also left a message on his phone, but has yet to receive an answer.

The mayor said he hopes Sawmilled addresses the situation, “if he can.”