PORT WENTWORTH, Ga. --Port Wentworth Mayor Pro Tem Vincent Hogan was placed on probation Thursday night for an inflammatory comment he made during a tea party rally earlier this month.
City council had earlier considered stripping Hogan of the mayor pro tempore status, but as the meeting began, Councilman James Curry recommended six months of probation instead.
The vote was 4-2 in favor of probation.
The punitive measure stemmed from a heated exchange between Hogan and a woman during a July 5 Savannah Tea Party rally in Forsyth Park.
Hogan -- a tea party supporter -- said Thursday the woman had interrupted his speech, calling him an "idiot," employing obscenities and referring to his days-old son.
Hogan told the woman she "should have been aborted."
At Thursday's meeting, Hogan expressed contrition for that remark. He said the heckler had struck a nerve by insulting his son.
"I said it to shut the person up," he said, explaining that since the incident he had visited senior citizens, Lions Club members and others to request forgiveness. "It was the wrong thing to say."
Councilmen Jud Bowers and Bill Herrin voted against probation.
"We've all seen a lot of temper flaring," Bowers said before voting. "I think probation is wrong."
Mayor Glenn Jones, after the meeting, said: "Council made a decision, and I always recognize the wishes of council."
The lone public comment came from Port Wentworth resident Dianne Tschabrunn, who spoke in support of Hogan.
"We hope you can look at this as an isolated incident," she said. "Give him a second chance