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Newport Mayor Resigns

On July 10, 2023, Mayor Dean Sawyer submitted his letter of resignation as Mayor of the City of Newport, effective at 9:00 A.M. This resignation comes following reports that Dean Sawyer posted as an individual, various offensive memes regarding race and gender on a private non-governmental website over a number of years.

Dean Sawyer was first appointed to fill a vacancy on the City Council in 2011 and then elected to subsequent terms until 2018, when he was elected as Mayor. He was reelected as Mayor in 2020 and 2022. During his tenure as Mayor, Dean Sawyer has

provided leadership through the COVID Pandemic, and has been an effective lobbyist at

the state and federal level for securing significant funding for the Big Creek Dam and

other City projects.

The City Council will meet to consider the Mayor’s actions and will discuss next steps to address the concerns that have surfaced and determine how to move forward as a community following the Mayor’ resignation. Attached to this release is the full letter of resignation from Mayor Dean Sawyer.

Dean Sawyer- Resignation Letter

I am sorry - in its simplest and sincerest form.

It has been a pleasure and an honor to serve this community for the past several years. Being a member and leading this community has been one of the better periods of my life. I have made Newport my home for over forty years and I only ever meant to make it stronger and better. I wanted to make it a better place to live for everyone. But I now realize that some of my actions and my words have hurt people I love and care about. This is something that I take full responsibility for.

I am sorry to everyone in this community and anyone hurt by my actions, directly or indirectly.

The posts I made and the humor I engaged in do not reflect my values. It was wrong for me to

belittle people with experiences different than my own. I understand that many of you are

upset, angry and confused by my actions. You have every right to be. In my public decision making I always strove to do what was best for Newport. While I am proud of some of our achievements, at this juncture it is clear that my online persona has become too polarizing for me to continue.

As I step down I hope to hasten the process of healing for the uproar I have caused. I hope and pray for the next administration to continue improving our great community. I know it will be a while, but I hope to have the opportunity to listen to and learn from the various people I hurt, and over time, mend fences. From this point forward I will pray, meditate and ponder about how I can be a better agent for good. At this time I would like to announce my resignation as Mayor of Newport effective July 10, 2023 at 9:00 AM.

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