Local councilman resigns after ‘one-finger’ salute stirs controversy

Video of the Aug. 13 Copperas Cove council meeting shows Pl. 7 Councilman Charlie Youngs (right) sticking his middle finger up while Pl. 5 Councilman Kirby Lack (left) is talking.

COPPERAS COVE, Texas (KWTX) Pl. 7 Copperas Cove Councilman Charlie Youngs, who was caught up in a controversy after flipping the bird during a meeting while another councilman was speaking, has resigned.

“I will take the pressure off the council,” Youngs said in an email Sunday to Copperas Cove city Manager Ryan Haverlah that was released Friday.

“I will step down from the council effective 6:08 p.m. on 24 August 2019.”

The email, which was included as part of the council’s agenda packet Friday, was sent at 6:11 p.m. on Sunday.

Video of the Aug. 13 Cove council meeting showed Youngs sticking his middle finger up while Pl. 5 Councilman Kirby Lack is talking.

“He's got anger issues, and if you come to any council meeting you'll see it," said Lack, the pastor of the Trinity Worship Center in Copperas Cove.

He says he had no idea the one-finger salute happened until the video started making the rounds on social media.

During an Aug. 6 council meeting, Youngs called Lack one of the “four horseman of the apocalypse,” claiming he was one of four other council members destroying the city.

"We've done a lot of good public policies. If I’m being called a horseman for doing all those good things for Copperas Cove, I'll accept it," Lack said.

Lack responded to the Aug. 6 statement during the Aug. 13 meeting, and that’s when Youngs’ finger flew.

Youngs told KWTX that he should not have made the obscene gesture, and said he was actually flipping off someone in the audience who threatened to hurt him last December.

"That's even worse than flipping off a councilman--those are citizens," Lack said.

Lack said he would take the issue up with the Texas Ethics Commission if Youngs didn’t resign.

Youngs already had a complaint on record for failing to file campaign finance reports for his 2017 election.

Youngs' term ends in November 2020.

The next Cove City Council meeting is Tuesday.

The council will decide whether to formally accept the resignation and will vote on calling a special election on Nov. 5 to fill the vacancy.