The mayor of a small southeastern Ohio community has resigned over accusations that she repeatedly called a gay police officer “queer” in front of his colleagues.

Mary McAngus, the 78-year-old mayor of the Village of Pomeroy, stepped down over the weekend.

Jackie Welker, the village council president and now-acting mayor, said to the Associated Press: “It just seems so absurd, even in our town in Appalachia, that this could still happen.”

She added: “Hopefully this resignation will start the healing.”

Pomeroy Police Chief Mark Proffitt submitted a six-page sworn statement to the Pomeroy Village Council saying that the former mayor’s behavior could invite a discrimination lawsuit.

“She stated ‘I don’t like a queer working for the village, I might be old-fashioned, but I don’t like it.’” Mr Proffitt wrote in the statement of Mary McAngus.

In January of 2011, Ohio Governor John Kasich banned discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation in hiring state employees but private business owners in Ohio can still legally discriminate against LGBT employees.