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Uniontown Treasurer-Elect Who Says She Was Denied Swearing-In Because Of Race Will Be Seated Next Week

UNIONTOWN, Pa. (KDKA) - A treasurer-elect who says she was denied her swearing-in because of her race will have her ceremony next week.

KDKA political editor Jon Delano reports the Uniontown solicitor, Tim Witt, says Antoinette Hodge will be sworn in on Monday.

Hodge filed a federal lawsuit, accusing certain officials of racism.

According to the lawsuit, Hodge alleges that Councilman Martin Gatti intervened to get her state-required bond as treasurer revoked at the last minute, alleging a poor credit rating, but Hodge says the real reason is because she's black.

When she called the bonding company asking why her bond was suddenly revoked, she says personnel were blunt.

"When the supervisor called her, he asked Antoinette the same question: 'are you white or black?'" attorney Joel Sansone said.

"And she once again answered that she was black. He then responded that defendant Gatti had referred to the plaintiff as the 'colored girl.'"

It's a charge Gatti strongly denies.

"I have never been accused of anything like that in my life," Gatti declared on Monday at council.

"Finances are finances. I don't know how race got in this."

Witt -- who says the city disputes the lawsuit, particularly because as it relates to race -- now says Hodge will be sworn in Monday at 5 p.m. in council chambers.

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