A man in California who was to be honored as his town's "Citizen of the Year" declined the award after Facebook posts of his surfaced calling for a ban on Islam and portraying a Democratic leader as a Nazi.
Jim Harrison, a former firefighter and truck driver, also resigned his position as a planning commissioner for San Luis Obispo County on Friday, according to local NBC News affiliate KSBY.
His resignation and declining of the citizenship award in Nipomo, a town about 160 miles north of Los Angeles, came after the surfacing of his posts with inflammatory memes, such as one with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a framed photo wearing a Nazi uniform.
The board of the local Chamber of Commerce that was to bestow the award voted unanimously to accept his turning it down, KSBY reported.
"There will be no Citizen of the Year award for Nipomo for 2019,” the chamber said in a written statement to the San Luis Obispo Tribune.
San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Lynn Compton, who told KSBY that the county has begun looking for a new planning commissioner, did not immediately respond to NBC News' request for comment.
Harrison could not be reached for comment.
His posts included a series of memes on Facebook that targeted Democrats and Muslims specifically. One image from Dec. 11 depicted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a framed photo wearing a Nazi uniform. A placard below the frame reads, "Minister of Propaganda."
A Dec. 19 post titled "The new logo for the Democratic Party" shows an illustration of a donkey, often associated with Democrats, emblazoned with a swastika. Below the donkey are the words "socialism," "anti-America," "anti-Jews/Israel," "anti-2nd Amendment" and "pro-eugenics."
A meme from Nov. 21 states that "America needs to shut down all Mosques and ban Islam. Bet you won't repost this." Other posts on Harrison's Facebook that were reviewed by NBC News showed additional memes that targeted Muslims and mosques.
Harrison has since removed the posts and his Facebook account but not before sharing a statement cited by the San Luis Obispo Tribune in an editorial.
“There was a post on my Facebook that offended some people,” Harrison wrote, according to the newspaper. “I apologize if it was offensive to you. The post was deleted when this came to my attention.”
The posts were discovered shortly after the Chamber of Commerce announced that Harrison would be honored, citing his community service work for the local Rotary Club, his enthusiasm for horses and preserving riding trails, and his organization of the "Nipomo Community Thanksgiving, Fourth of July parade, and Thompson Road cleanup."
Local community groups — R.A.C.E. Matters, GALA, Diversity Coalition of SLO County, Bend the Arc, JCC Federation and People of Faith for Justice — said in an open letter to the chamber that Harrison's inflammatory speech overshadowed his community work and that his award should be rescinded.
"Like all of us, Mr. Harrison is entitled to his political opinions and we take no issue with him on that account. Political agreement is not a requirement for public office or public acclaim. This demonstration of hatred and bigotry, however, should be an immediate disqualifier," the letter said. "Silence and inaction in the face of such behavior is complicity."