DUQUESNE, Pa. (KDKA) – We are learning more about what happened after a woman was arrested in the Duquesne mayor’s office earlier this month. As 59-year-old Antoinette Harper was being taken away by officers, she is accused of spitting at a city councilwoman and forcing her into quarantine for a possible COVID exposure.
Almost two weeks ago, Duquesne Mayor Nickole Nesby met with Harper to discuss water issues at her office. Police were called because other city workers felt it violated COVID protocol. The mayor said no guidelines were broken.READ MORE: Pennsylvania Lawmakers Push To Make To-Go Cocktails Permanent
“A taxpayer has a right speak with their elected officials about their concerns and about their city and ways to improve it,” Mayor Nesby said.
Councilwoman Elaine Washington says the meeting was happening despite the building having been closed to the public since March. As officers took Harper out of the mayor’s office, she allegedly spat at the councilwoman. The councilwoman was stunned.
“I’ve never been spat at before in my life, and when she did it, I was just shocked,” Washington said.
She captured the incident on her cellphone. She never met Harper before this.
According to court papers, after Harper was removed from the mayor’s office, arrested and in the police station, Mayor Nickole Nesby attempted to speak to her again. Officers said she was not allowed to talk to her and the mayor replied she could because she “runs the department.” After police asked several more times for her to leave, Mayor Nesby left.READ MORE: Bethel Park Residents On High Alert After 2 Home Break-Ins
“I pledged to do right by the citizens of the city. That’s what I pledge to do and that is what I’m going to do,” Mayor Nesby said.
Now the councilwoman says people want her to resign after this incident. She is just concerned about city employees’ safety.
“The employees don’t feel safe now because we don’t know the next time she’s going to bring somebody in,” Washington said.
There have been calls to fire the officer who made the arrest. Washington said elections will decide if she stays in office but she can’t support terminating the officer.
“I can’t live with them asking for this man’s termination when he has a family and he was only doing what we asked him to do,” Washington said.
Washington said the situation is an embarrassment for the community.MORE NEWS: Strange Line Of Lights Reported Across Sky By People In Western Pennsylvania
Harper is facing numerous charges, including recklessly endangering another person and harassment. There’s a rally in support of Harper planned for Thursday morning.