Mary Lou Callicott's only defense Monday night was a long-winded speech, handwritten on several pages inside a notebook.
The now former chairwoman of the Marion County Central Republican Committee was voted out of her position in a 16-to-3 vote at the group's regular meeting, after a signed letter citing several disapprovals from committee members was added to the meeting's agenda.
It was abundantly clear from committee members speaking out and addressing Callicott, that they wanted her removed from her position. But she didn't go down without a fight, as she made accusations at certain committee members for alleged actions done as representatives of the organization and in their personal lives.
"By your actions, you caused a division in the committee," Callicott said of the letter proposing her removal. "It's not even an election year, this is very hard on me. I'm embarrassed having to go through this. I feel like I've been stabbed in the back by people who I thought were my friends. I'm not being treated fairly. I thought I was doing good things."
At times committee members had to raise their voices as Callicott had much difficulty hearing in the wee chambers of the Marion County Commission where the meeting was held. Callicott was interrupted and asked several times how much longer she would go on defending herself, but her gumption prevailed.
"I'm going to say what I'm going to say," Callicott said. "This is bad for our party, it's not a nice thing to be doing this to someone when I don't deserve it."
She went on to call the committee's letter "disgraceful" and "a scandal." About 35 minutes into her 40-minute defense, members were long settled in and silent, anticipating a conclusion.