San Marino Mayor Resigns Over Dog Waste Scandal

San Marino’s “poopgate” scandal finally came to a head Tuesday when Dennis Kneier voluntary resigned as the city’s mayor. His decision came just days after a city council meeting in which numerous residents came to voice their opposition to Kneier’s leadership. Their complaints revolved around a June 7 incident in which Kneier threw a bag of dog feces onto a political opponent’s property—an act which was caught on surveillance camera. Though the mayor apologized, it did little quell a growing chorus demanding his resignation.

“As is well known, early in the evening of Saturday, June 7, I had a lapse of judgment and discarded dog waste on a neighbor’s walkway,” Kneier wrote in his resignation letter. “It was insensitive, disrespectful, and wrong. I have apologized to my neighbor for my action, and I will pay a fine for littering. I can understand why this matter has some questioning my ability to lead the council. I want to assure you that something like this will not happen again.”  

The neighbor, Philip Lao, has said he plans to sue Kneier. Lao believes the incident was retribution for his opposition to a proposed dog park.

In the meantime, Kneier will remain on the city council. Vice Mayor Eugene Sun will take over his duties as mayor until June 27, however. The City Council will then appoint a replacement.

“This has been a challenging few days for our city and we’re hopeful that with Mr. Kneier’s decision, and with his public and private expressions of regret for the incident, we can move forward,” Sun said.

Read more about Kneier’s resignation here.