The Lincoln City Council is expected to censure William Lauritsen at its meeting on May 10. The formal admonishment comes after the council member allegedly assaulted a local businessman at California's 3rd Congressional District Candidate Forum.
The businessman, Matthew Oliver, was streaming the event on his Facebook live. You can watch the altercation as it begins to unfold at 6:05.
Lauritsen’s colleagues released a scorching statement following the incident.
“On April 25, 2022, Councilmember William Lauritsen was verbally and physically aggressive toward a member of Lincoln’s business community, verbally assaulting, and appearing to strike the individual at a debate forum for the Congressional Third District in front of a room full of witnesses and while being filmed on FaceBook Live,” the statement read.
“This great City – our residents, our business community, our staff – expect and deserve the highest level of professionalism, respect, and integrity from their elected representatives. We, as a Council, hold ourselves to a higher standard and continually seek to earn and keep the trust of our public. Governing with accountability, transparency, and self-discipline is our primary responsibility. Councilmember Lauritsen’s actions have violated this trust and jeopardized the people’s confidence in their government. We take this very seriously, and are embarrassed, disgusted, and outraged by his behavior.
As a result of Councilmember Lauritsen’s refusal to resign, Council is pursuing disciplinary options under our powers to censure and have restricted City funding for any events that Councilmember Lauritsen would attend on the City’s behalf. However, ultimately, only the voters have the power of recall and removal from office – which we strongly endorse.”
Lauritsen says his actions have been mischaracterized, and that it was Oliver who was being aggressive. You can read more about his response at ABC 10.