Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s (R) administration dismissed a top official for a series of social media posts in which he expressed his support for the teen suspect in last week’s Kenosha, Wisconsin, shootings.
Arthur “Mac” Love IV had served as deputy director of the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives since 2015.
On Saturday, screenshots of posts that Love had reportedly made to a Facebook group called Inside Maryland Politics under the name “Mac Love” began circulating on Twitter and other social media platforms.
According to the Baltimore Sun, one of Love’s posts showed an image of Kenosha shooting suspect Kyle Rittenhouse cleaning graffiti with the caption, “I’m grateful that conservatives are rallying behind this kid. He genuinely seems like a good person.”
On Twitter, Maryland State Delegate Eric Luedtke (D) called for Love’s firing Saturday alongside a screenshot of one of the offending posts.
Steve McAdams, who is the executive director for the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives, confirmed in a Monday email sent to HuffPost that he’d “relieved” Love of his duties over the weekend.
“These divisive images and statements are inconsistent with the mission and core values of the Office of Community Initiatives,” McAdams said.
Kevin Craft, who has served administrative director of the Governor’s Commission on African Affairs, would assume Love’s duties “effective immediately,” he added.
Shareese Churchill, a spokeswoman for Hogan, echoed those sentiments in a separate statement also sent to HuffPost.
“These posts are obviously totally inappropriate,” she wrote. “We fully support the immediate actions taken by Director McAdams to address this matter.”
Speaking to The Washington Post Sunday, Love said he’d first learned about his termination through cable news before receiving official word that morning, but otherwise declined to comment.
“There’s a lot more to say and that I’d love to say,” he said. “But I don’t know if I’m allowed to.”
Rittenhouse, 17, was arrested last week after allegedly opening fire on a group of protesters responding to the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black Wisconsin man. The Illinois native faces multiple felony charges, including first-degree murder, in the deaths of Anthony Huber, 26, and Joseph Rosenbaum, 36.
Gaige Grosskreutz, 26, was also allegedly shot in the arm by Rittenhouse, but is expected to survive.