Wharton says person who posted pictures is 'demented'

By Anna Marie Hartman - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Memphis Mayor A C Wharton had strong words Friday for whoever posted his picture at a Memphis firehouse near those of Adolph Hitler and Osama Bin Laden.

"We don't need that," Wharton said. "It has no place in any kind of political expression."

If Wharton ever has an emergency at his home, first responders will come from Memphis Fire Station 16, located on Lamar Avenue near Airways.  It's the same firehouse where his picture was found posted earlier this week next to photos of the leader of the Third Reich and the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks.   

While Memphis Fire Department officials try to determine who is responsible for posting the pictures, Wharton said he will not take things personally.  

"My hurt is not a personal hurt as much as it is to know that we have some sick and demented person among our ranks being paid by the city of Memphis," Wharton said Friday.

One theory about what might have prompted the distasteful display: a request from Memphis City Hall to post the mayor's picture in city facilities, including dozens of fire stations.

Wharton doesn't know the message behind the act, but he's taking it very seriously.  

"I would say the same thing if it were just 'Joe Blow' posted up there with those despicable characters," he said.

And while the mayor wants to keep his emotions out of the investigation, he'd like to come face to face with the person who compared his face with two of the most hated men in history.  

Wharton said despite the 'demented' soul who would do such a thing, he knows there are many men and women on the Memphis Fire Department who despise what was done as much as he does.

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