Posted on October 23, 2018

Allegheny County Democratic Leader Resigns over Accusations of ‘Insensitive’ Facebook Posts

Bob Bauder, Triblive, October 10, 2018

The executive director of the Allegheny County Democratic Committee abruptly resigned after drawing fire from committee members for what they described as racially insensitive messages that he and his wife allegedly posted on Facebook.

Mark Salvas, 47, of Plum, whom the committee hired in September, resigned on Tuesday, according to committee Solicitor Jim Burn.


“We have a zero tolerance for sexual harassment or racism of any kind,” said state Democratic Committee Chairwoman Nancy Mills. {snip}

The controversy centers on Facebook posts allegedly made by Salvas and his wife, Cindy DeZort-Salvas, in July and September.

“I’m not sure how to comprehend what he has up there, but it’s insensitive to African Americans,” said state Rep. Ed Gainey, D-Lincoln-Lemington, a committee member. “The action was wrong. The action was insensitive, and for that he had to go. African Americans are the backbone of the Democratic Party, and you can’t have someone at the head of your party not understanding the backbone of the party.”

Rep. Ed Gainey

One of the posts in question showed Salvas and his wife with the message, “I stand for the flag. I kneel at the cross,” apparently a reference to NFL players kneeling during the national anthem, according to a screenshot of the post found on Facebook by the Tribune-Review.

Another post was a request from DeZort-Salvas for donations to help former East Pittsburgh police Officer Michael Rosfeld’s legal defense. Rosfeld, who is white, has been charged with homicide in the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Antwon Rose II after a June traffic stop in East Pittsburgh. The black teenager’s death sparked a series of protests during the summer.


A third post featured an image of a Confederate flag with the message, “A crazy guy shoots up a church and you ban a flag. People stomp on the American Flag and you say it’s their right?!? That’s a special kind of stupid.”