South Lake Tahoe Councilwoman Censured for Alleged Bullying

Stop being mean!

Last month, in a jam-packed council meeting saw South Lake Tahoe Councilwoman JoAnn Conner got hit with a censure.

City staff and partner agencies had alleged her to be a bully to a degree that led City Manager Nancy Kerry to direct staff to not interact with her directly.

The council voted 4-1 in favor of censure, with Conner dissenting, obviously. The council also turned in a 4-1 vote that reaffirmed the decision for staff to avoid direct interactions with Conner.

At the censure meeting, more than ten residents spoke out against the censure, saying it would infringe Conner’s first amendment rights.

Mayor Hal Cole disagreed, saying the scale of the alleged behavior might leave the city vulnerable to litigation. Cole added that the censure is intended to limit Conner’s ability to represent the community.

Divided opinions aside, Conner’s lawyer did drop a nugget, saying, “It is not against the law to be a jerk or a bully, and it’s not grounds for censure.” Might we point her to the City of Patterson? Where another Councilmember got into hot water for some seemingly similar behavior, the end result of which was admonishment, calls for resignation, and an ordinance to establish a process for censuring officials for conduct unbecoming.

Or we could all just try and get along?

More on this censure story here.