UPDATE: On Friday, the city released the letter from Dallas’s lawyer. Here it is for your viewing pleasure:00071865
By Royal Calkins
If you thought you had heard the last of Steve Dallas and Glen Mozingo, consider yourself an optimist.
This pair of formers — former Carmel Mayor Dallas and former City Attorney Mozingo — are essentially making an encore appearance this month on the small stage of Carmel politics. Next week, on Thursday, the city is scheduled to release to the press and public an edited copy of the 15-month-old report on the city’s inquiry into sexual harassment allegations against Dallas.
As with many things of a political nature, there is a “but” here. It seems that Dallas has sent a letter to the city objecting to release of the report until he has had a chance to read it. The council agreed weeks ago to release the report on June 20 unless someone, meaning Dallas, goes to court and obtains a court order blocking the release. Dallas apparently has not done that but his letter to the city reportedly was signed by an attorney, so the courtroom could be Dallas’s next stop.
I used the word “reportedly” in the preceding sentence because I had to. Though there is no reason to believe that the letter to the city isn’t a public record, the city has set aside my Public Records Act request to turn over the letter. City Manager Chip Rerig said Wednesday he believes Dallas’s letter is a public record but he doesn’t feel comfortable letting me see it because he wants to run it by the acting city attorney, Jon Giffen, and he’s on vacation this week.
California’s public records law says public records should be made public in a timely fashion. It doesn’t mention anything about lawyers reviewing the records or lawyers being on vacation. It does say public agencies have 10 days to mull it over if there is a serious question about whether it’s a public record. That isn’t the case here.
(Unfortunately for those of us intrigued by Carmel politics, Carmel officials, and their counterparts in some other jurisdictions, routinely take the full 10 days even when there is no question that the records being sought are public records. The Public Records Act frowns on such an approach but there are no teeth behind that frown.)
I’ll provide a little more background next, but first I pause to pose a question. Mozingo was essentially Dallas’s campaign manager during his mayoral run. Then Dallas helped Mozingo become city attorney, a job he lost after Voices of Monterey Bay reported about numerous entries on his resumé that were wrong, exaggerated or simply made up. Such as how he went to Oxford and was licensed to practice law in England. Etc., etc. Dallas fought hard to keep Mozingo in the well-paying job despite the fabrications, but then an election came along and the decision wasn’t his to make.
So here’s the question. Can you please raise your hands if you think Mozingo didn’t let Dallas read the report long ago?
I don’t see any hands. OK, maybe one but she’s usually on the wrong side of things.
The background. Several people, mostly women, approached the city near the end of 2017 to complain of inappropriate behavior by Dallas. One, wine industry promoter Kim Stemler, eventually went public with her complaints about unwelcome comments of a lecherous nature. And unwelcome touching. Others complained of similar stuff.
There were other complaints without a sexual element but for some reason Mozingo opted not to have those investigated. He brought in an outside attorney to take statements from the complainants. Whether any investigation beyond that ever occurred isn’t known, at least to me. Maybe the report will make that clear.
In March of 2018, Mozingo held a news conference to announce that a few minor complaints had been upheld and that, therefore, Dallas would receive a reprimand. And in an effort to divert attention from all that, he also tossed out some new allegations of his own about how he supposedly had been the target of an extortion effort and how someone had once tried to set up Dallas in a bar to make him look bad. Those last things also were supposed to be subject of an investigation but they were not. Here’s a story about that.
So now you’re caught up.
By the way, Dallas is said to be considering another run for mayor.
Stay tuned for more Silliness-By-The-Sea.
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