County Commissioners Address Recent Beaty Letter, Tweets

BARNSTABLE – The Chairman of the Barnstable County Commissioners called a recent comments made by Commissioner Ron Beaty “ridiculous” and “mean,” and made an effort to distance the board from Beaty’s recent actions.

Beaty, a prolific tweeter and self-described “community activist,” has come under fire for a number of controversial statements he has made since taking office at the beginning of 2017.

As a result, five members of the Barnstable County Assembly of Delegates have submitted an ordinance that seeks to establish a process to recall elected county officials, a decision that drew Beaty’s ire.

In a letter to Cape Cod media outlets last week, Beaty called the sponsors of the ordinance “jealous, outrageously liberal petty politicians who are afraid of their own shadows!”

“I look forward to the coming political battles with enthusiastic anticipation,” Beaty wrote. “There is an old saying that politics is a blood sport…indeed it certainly can be. Yes, indeed.”

Some have suggested the comments could be considered a veiled threat, including John Ohman, one of the Delegates who proposed the recall ordinance. Beaty spent time in federal prison in the 1990’s for threatening to kill President George H.W. Bush, Senator Ted Kennedy, and State Senator Lois Pines.

Leo Cakounes, the Chair of the County Commissioners, said he did not support Beaty’s comments, but said he had a right to express his opinion under the First Amendment.

“Do I like it? Obviously I don’t like it. Do I support it? Obviously, and I will speak for both of us (fellow Commissioner Mary Pat Flynn), we don’t support it. But it is his right under the First Amendment to say things as hurtful, as ridiculous sometimes, and as mean as they may be perceived by people who read them,” Cakounes said.

“He is a single County Commissioner,” Cakounes said. “The letter cannot be construed that he is speaking for this entire board.”

“He’s gone on numerous times through Twitter to say things that have not only been offensive to many but I will go on record today and tell you most recently there was one that came out the other day that was very offensive to me and my family,” Cakounes said.

“I do not believe that this letter or any of his other tweets have crossed any line to say that they are criminal,” Cakounes added.

The matter was addressed at Wednesday’s County Commissioners meeting, and included a reading of Beaty’s recent letter into the public record. A number of citizens addressed Beaty’s actions as part of the public comment portion of the meeting.

Beaty did not attend the meeting, and issued the following statement the NewsCenter in regards to his absence.

“I have been very ill with a flu-like bug for several days now, and was absent from today’s County Commissioners Meeting as a result. With that said, since I was unable to be at the meeting, I really am not sure what you are referring to, nor am I able to comment about what others may have gossiped about BEHIND MY BACK. You may use this as a public statement or response pertaining to the matter in question, if you wish. Other than that, I have no additional comment at this time.”

A review of Beaty’s Facebook page found that he was actively posting while the meeting was ongoing.

Since his election last year to the county’s executive board, Beaty has earned admirers and enemies for his relentless pursuit of open meeting law violations, even against his own commission.

He picked a very public fight with fellow Republican and 5th Barnstable District State Representative Randy Hunt over a parking space.

Beaty took some public heat for a proposal to bait and kill great white sharks off the Cape’s shores.

Recently, Beaty caused a firestorm for criticizing the #MeToo movement on social media which has been used to raise awareness about sexual assault and abuse.

In his own social media post, Beaty previously called the campaign, “a bunch of nonsense, in my humble opinion.”

That prompted several weeks of protest at county commissioner meetings by those offended by his remarks.

The Assembly of Delegates was expected to take up the proposal for a recall ordinance at their meeting Wednesday afternoon. 

About NewsCenter

The award-winning NewsCenter provides the Cape Cod community with a constant, credible source for local news. We are on the job seven days a week.
737 West Main Street
Hyannis, MA 02601
Contact Us | Advertise Terms of Use 
Employment and EEO | Privacy