Portland City Hall. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

Portland’s top attorney said a group of residents cannot recall a newly elected charter commissioner who has accused the city manager of being a white supremacist.

That comes amid the uproar that followed comments from Nasreen Sheikh-Yousef, a former Black P.O.W.E.R. organizer, accusing City Manager Jon Jennings of being a white supremacist and harming the Black in brown communities in the city, according to the Portland Press Herald.

Portland Alliance for Good Government, a group of 38 residents, wants to recall Sheikh-Yousef, who has also faced criticism from Mayor Kate Snyder and City Councilor Spencer Thibodeau.

But Corporation Counsel Danielle West said that recalls are only allowed for city councilors and school board members under the city charter, the newspaper reported. State laws do not allow for recalls of municipal officials unless they are convicted of committing a crime against the municipality.

Sheik-Yousef received the most votes of any candidate in the race for charter commissioner. Soon after assuming office, she took to social media to criticize Jennings.

“Jon Jennings! You about to lose your job. We are going to make you the last white supremacist city manager. We are coming!” Sheikh-Yousef tweeted on June 9.

In another tweet the same day, Sheik-Yousef called for the city manager to be abolished.

A 12-member commission is scheduled to meet in late June, commencing a year-long review of the city’s charter, the newspaper reported. Potential changes to the charter include strengthening the mayor’s position, expanding the City Council and raising its members’ pay, and deciding whether noncitizens should be granted voting rights.

Despite the backlash, Sheik-Yousef said she’s not going to resign from the position.

“White people are more angrier about the word ‘white supremacist’ than racism and white supremacy. Stay mad. I’m not going to apologize. I’m not going to resign,” she tweeted on June 10.

Matt Berg

Matt is a senior at UMass Amherst, studying journalism and history. Before joining the Bangor Daily News, he was the managing editor of his student newspaper and interned at the Boston Globe.