By Andreas Yilma Citizen’s News
NAUGATUCK — Board of Education member Aaron McCool has resigned amid pressure from board members and residents following the revelation he shared sexually suggestive photos of young girls on social media in 2014.
“Mr. McCool’s mission has always been to zealously represent his constituency; it is their needs that are his highest priority. Consistent with that mission and with his constituency in mind, Mr. McCool has made the difficult decision to resign his position with the Naugatuck Board of Education,” his attorney, Daniel A. Esposito, stated in a news release issued Wednesday.
McCool initially refused to step down, saying he has changed, after he admitted he re-posted the inappropriate photos eight years ago.
One photo shows a girl tied up by her ankles, legs and wrists with duct tape over her mouth. Another shows a girl with a shirt that reads “Work in Progress, Good to Go” with an arrow pointing down. A third photo shows a girl on a bike with the caption, “Jailbait because the best things in life are illegal.”
The Naugatuck Diversity Equity and Inclusion Education Committee launched an online petition June 24 on the website Change.org titled “Remove Aaron McCool From Naugatuck Board Of Education!” More than 1,100 people have signed the petition.
“I would just say the people reaching out to me are disgusted — dozens and dozens of people,” DEI Education Committee member Jessica Noble said. “We just want him to do the right thing for Naugatuck children and resign.”
Borough police have received a compliant about McCool and are investigating, officer Danielle Durette said.
School board Chairman Jeffrey Litke and Vice Chair Marilyn O’Donnell asked McCool to resign after Litke was made aware of the photos on the social media site Tumblr, under the account mccoola1.tumblr.com.
“In 2014, I re-posted several distasteful and inappropriate pictures on a website called Tumblr,” McCool said in a written statement. “This was wrong and I am sorry for my past behavior. However, this does not reflect who I am today.”
McCool, a Republican, said Litke, who is running as a Democrat for state representative of the 70th House District, blackmailed him during a school board meeting and told McCool if he didn’t resign immediately, the information would go public.
O’Donnell said McCool is not a victim and no one blackmailed him.
“We gave him the courtesy of letting him know what was going on and it would be in his best interest to resign. We told him we were sure the community probably would be making it public,” O’Donnell said. “Not once did Mr. Litke or myself say resign or we would make it public.”
McCool was first elected to the school board last year. He is self-employed and has a daughter entering first grade this fall.
The DEI Education Committee had issued a letter to borough officials about McCool.
“It’s shameful how he’s tried to flip this and make himself a victim after having admitted to posting the images and claiming he was being blackmailed, all while this was public information that anyone could have found with a simple Google search,” Noble said.