A member of the Patrick County Board of Supervisors said he will not step down from his post.
“Why should I,” Lock Boyce, of the Mayo River District, said. “What have I done that would make me want to step down?”
Although some have asked the board to take action in the past and said they were chastised or felt threatened after speaking at meetings, calls for Boyce to resign began in earnest after some of his comments were recorded by a hot mic during a break in the Dec. 17 meeting of the Patrick County Board of Supervisors.
The recording, which was distributed on various social media sites, came after a discussion between Boyce and Alex McNabb, a part-time employee of the Jeb Stuart Rescue Squad. McNabb currently is on unpaid administrative leave, pending the outcome of an investigation that was initiated in November by the state Office of Emergency Services. The investigation could take up to 60 days to complete.
McNabb came under fire after a story published by “The Huffington Post” alleged that he is “a white supremist podcaster” and a frequent co-host of “The Daily Shoah,” which the article alleged is “a popular neo-Nazi podcast.”
McNabb attended the board meeting and asked to speak. He denied allegations that he was a Nazi, said he was not affiliated with certain political organizations, that he was a professional entertainer and has provided the best care possible when responding to rescue calls.
The discussion disintegrated into a shouting match.
McNabb said that he expected “some degree of controversy” at the meeting because “I’m known for being a provocative entertainer and I could certainly understand how some individuals might not like my style of humor.”
However, there were many things McNabb said he found surprising about the meeting, including Boyce’s “claim to have treated Harambe, a male gorilla shot and killed at the Cincinnati Zoo in 2016.”
McNabb said he felt that Boyce “seemed overly hostile during our conversation, rendering the proceeding into something resembling a witch-trial … Nothing was more shocking than when Lock Boyce accused me of stepping beyond my First Amendment rights, into the bounds of ‘making threats,’ and then proceeded to say ‘F… him, I’ve killed better men with my bare hands’ during a recess,” McNabb said. “Am I to understand that he’s killed people before?”
Boyce said he did kill someone in self defense, but it was not actually with his bare hands. He said a weapon was involved, but noted that he did not bring the weapon. The incident was when he was young, Boyce said, and before his military stint with the Veterinarian Corps.
“Looking back on it, the person was a lot like me. It was a bad situation and a sad situation,” Boyce said. “I have regretted it every day.”
The comment prompted numerous calls to the county for Boyce to resign, according to County Administrator Tom Rose. A couple of calls were supportive of Boyce, he added.
A majority of the calls originated from states like Pennsylvania, Michigan and Minnesota, Boyce said, adding he also has received “a computer full of hate mail (emails),” mainly from those outside of the county.
Boyce said the comment was part of his effort to “protect my constituents from Nazis” and other hate organizations and to ensure the best medical care is available when residents need a rescue squad.
Meanwhile other supervisors are looking for ways to address the situation with Boyce, and at least one suggested it would be best for the county if he stepped down.
“What, I’m going to step down because they don’t like me,” Boyce said, adding the only reason his fellow board members want him off of the board is so they can return to the old days of raising taxes and spending the proceeds “like drunken sailors.”
Boyce said he stood up against hate with his comment, “and I will stand up again … They can throw me off of that board if they want to, but I’m going to continue to stand up” against hate groups of any kind.
McNabb said the comment “potentially crosses several legal boundaries. … I certainly felt very threatened by Lock Boyce’s public statement in the middle of a crowded court-room.” The comment sounded “like a county official communicating a threat to a private citizen during a public meeting … I am appalled that an elected leader would ever say such a thing,” he said.
“I don’t really care what he thinks about my comments, but my comments were not threatening,” Boyce said. “I did not threaten” McNabb. “If I did, he would know it. All I said was ‘I’ve killed better men than him with my bare hands.’ That’s just a statement of fact. I did not threaten him.”