A local Commissioner appointed by Florida governor Ron DeSantis suddenly tendered his resignation last week after photos showing him wearing what looked like a Ku Klux Klan robe and hood were circulated, Politico reported.
Gadsden County Sheriff Morris Young told the news outlet that he was shown the photos of Jeff Moore wearing the robe last week. Moore, a Republican, was appointed by Gov. DeSantis to serve as a Commissioner in Gadsden County. Young, who is Black, said Moore refuted nothing when he showed the photos to him.
“He never denied at all. Refuted nothing when I showed him the pictures,” Young said. “I thought he needed to resign, and I told him that.”
DeSantis’ office confirmed Moore’s resignation on Monday. But they said they couldn’t tell why. “We are in the middle of hurricane prep, I’m not aware of the photo you sent but Jeff did submit his resignation last week,” DeSantis’ communications director, Taryn Fenske, said.
Politico contacted Moore on Monday for comments on the photos. But he told the news outlet that he’ll get in touch with them on Tuesday or Wednesday as he was putting things in place for the hurricane that is expected to hit the state.
The alleged photos of Moore in the KKK robe surfaced in Gadsden County a few weeks ago, and some residents showed the images to Young last Tuesday.
A Gadsden Co. commissioner, appointed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, abruptly resigned from the post in Florida’s only predominantly Black county after a photo surfaced purportedly showing him wearing a Ku Klux Klan robe and hood at what could have been a Halloween party years earlier. pic.twitter.com/iadi4gI323
— Christopher Cann (@ChrisCannFL) September 27, 2022
“That was the first time I had seen them or started having to deal with it,” Young said. “He told me it was a costume.”
Gadsden County has one of the largest Black populations in Florida, per Politico. They account for 55% of the county’s population. And at the time of his appointment, Moore was the only county commissioner who was non-Black.
“I’m not surprised Gov. DeSantis would appoint someone with this ideology,” NAACP Tallahassee Chapter president Mutaqee Akbar said. “Even if they didn’t know about the picture, it’s the kind of person I can see him picking.”