Schmuck of the Week

Ron Hinkle's "drunken and belligerent" actions lead to mayor's resignation, and Shmuck award!

Drunk and belligerent is now way to go through life. But drunk and belligerent and the mayor of a town? Well, that takes a special kind of shmuck -- one like Ron Hinkle, the mayor of the town of Florence, who resigned on Wednesday, two weeks after resident C.J. Youngs chastised him during a city meeting for behavior that he says he witnessed during the Americana Music and Art Festival.

"Youngs said Hinkle and his family had been involved in a verbal and mildly physical altercation with security staff over the timing of the gate being closed August 4," the Canon City Daily Record reported. "'I witnessed the mayor himself in a drunken and belligerent stupor use racial and ethnic slurs toward a female security guard," Youngs said during the meeting. "The wording of which was so vile that I consider it inappropriate to repeat in a public forum.'"

Hinkle denied the allegations at the time, but on Wednesday, he told the newspaper that "the last week and a half have been extremely challenging -- mentally, emotionally and psychologically -- for me and my wife, Juli.... My primary concern, my first concern is my wife and my family. That's where my priorities have to be right now. When the council, mayor or elected officials take an oath of office, (I promised to do my job to the) best of my ability. I feel my ability has been diminished the last two weeks. And I'm not performing as a mayor as I should, and I don't know when I could return to that.

"The primary reason is that my family comes first," he continued. "Your spouse or your family, that's a full-time, permanent long-term relationship. And city council, in reality, is really just part time, temporary. It's a drop in a bucket in the flavor of life. Once that becomes secondary and you're not performing as you should to your full capacity, I think it's time to step down."

The city council will throw the job open to anyone in town at its next meeting. Well, almost anyone.

More from our Shmuck archive: "Great American Beer Festival scalpers drive us to drink."