California mayor resigns after dog shit scandal

If you’re going to go out, go out with a bang. Toronto mayor Rob Ford was partially undone by a massive penchant for crack cocaine. Richard Nixon was forced to resign after being sprung for running an ambitious surveillance operation on political rivals. Bill Clinton, blowjobs from an intern. Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi has been plagued for years by allegations of hiring underage prostitutes, tax evasion, corruption and his infamous ‘bunga bunga’ parties, but emerged even more popular than before.

Spare a thought, then, for Dennis Kneier, mayor of San Marino in California, who was last week forced to resign from office after tossing a bag of dog poop into the yard of a political opponent.

Yes, apparently you can’t shit where your neighbours eat in San Marino, as the incident – seriously, unironically, legitimately referred to as “poopgate” by locals, showing that the suffix “-gate” has really fallen in stature as of late – set off a firestorm in town, leading Kneier to pen an apologetic public letter that would be funny if it weren’t so serious.

Actually, nope, it’s still funny.

“I have apologized to my neighbor for my action, and I will pay a fine for littering,” Kneier wrote, according to the Pasadena Star News. “These events continue to be embarrassing to me and to the city. Because of this, I have decided to step down as mayor.”

Kneier’s seven years on the city council, and his second term as city mayor, came crumbling down after surveillance cameras from the house of Phillip Lao saw the mayor – carrying a bag of dog shit, for reasons still unclear – came wandering by with his wife. His wife stopped, pointed at the front yard of Mr Lao’s, and Kneier tossed the black bag onto the grass.

Mr Lao, according to Buzzfeed, had found himself on the mayor’s shitlist (literally, it seems) for opposing a dog park that the mayor had wanted built.

“I’m the kind of guy that’s always picking up trash and I reached down and picked it up and I am walking down the street … and in a moment of stupidity, I guess I was tired of carrying it, I disposed of it on his walkway. It was a mistake,” Kneier said afterwards.

Kneier resigned his post after video of the incident went public, but the gesture was not enough for even the big dog himself to escape a $1000 fine for littering. He will remain on the city council until his term expires 2015.

Residents, however, feel the punishment is not enough.

“You … should be made to do 100 hours community service clearing up dog (poop),” one resident suggested. “That would be justice. And the only way sad types like yourself will ever learn.”

Seems like the locals of San Marino are more than a bit shitty about the poo-r behaviour of their mayor.

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