HUNTINGDON COUNTY, Pa (WTAJ) — Multiple members of the Blair County NAACP participated in a sit-in protest Thursday evening against the Mount Union borough council.

The organization held the protest against council member Nicole Lippmann, who also serves as the Sheriff’s deputy for the county. They believe that her current role shouldn’t allow her to have an elected seat on the council.

Blair County NAACP Branch President Andrae Holsey said the council neglects to separate the branches of government. Implying that because Lippmann works for the county and can make arrests, she shouldn’t hold a seat.

“The council refuses to hear that there were two things this country was built upon dissent and separation on the branches of government,” Holsey said. “Regardless of whether they work for a judge, they have arrest authority even if they were appointed. There’s this thing called the compatibility of offices. Deputy Lippmann does not have that.”

For months, two other council members, Joan Rogers and Marlee Russell, have argued that Lippmann does not belong on the council. Rogers and Russell spoke on the matter during April’s meeting, which turned into a verbal argument. Borough police then escorted the two out of the chamber.

Holsey spoke during public comment addressing the situation and asking for change. He believes that removing the council members implies under-representation of the minority population.

“Each time, this debate allows for interference with all other decisions by the council, and the Vice President of the council asks for Ms. Rogers and Ms. Russell to be removed,” Holsey said. “You end up with these long-standing issues that words aren’t being properly represented. Both of them are Ward One representatives.”

However, the Mount Union solicitor Larry Lashinsky already addressed the argument in past meetings, and said that Lippmann’s seat was valid.

According to Holsey, this is not the first racial tension within the borough. To prevent another event from happening again, Holsey recommended a set of attorneys for Rogers and Russell to support them.

The council did not take any action or comment following the speech. The chapter plans to file a criminal complaint against Lippmann and an act of discrimination against the borough for the mistreatment of Russell and Rogers.

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“The long-term goal here is mostly going to be played out by the courts and by single signatures by various judges,” Holsey said