Carmel City Hall | Ryan Livernois
By Royal Calkins
Those who take the time to read the newly released “Dallas Report” will likely conclude that Steve Dallas’ term as mayor of Carmel was a rough period, a time when this large and loud man spent considerable time in the town’s nightspots and often behaved more like a teenager than a civic leader.
A redacted version of the 120-page report was released to the public today. Much of the document includes written exhibits and interview notes.
Readers of the report will also learn that the outside investigator hired by the city to look into various allegations against Dallas was mostly interested in determining whether the city faced any legal liability because of the mayor’s behavior. And that the outside investigator, Cerritos attorney Irma Rodriguez Moisa, was quick to discount any allegations from anyone known to dislike Dallas and anyone who had not raised their allegations before it became known in late 2018 that he was under investigation.
Moisa almost totally rejected the testimony of City Councilman Bobby Richards, who had been a friend of Dallas’ but who had seen the relationship sour because of politics and the mayor’s behavior.
“Mr. Richards has not presented as a measured individual who is able to properly evaluate and perceive events,” the attorney wrote. “Rather, it appears that his personal dislike of Mr. Dallas’ conduct has colored his interpretation of the meaning of Mr. Dallas’ behavior.”
Richards, reached by phone shortly after the report was released Thursday, said the characterization was unfair and inaccurate. He has made no secret of his dislike of Dallas but said, “It’s unfortunate that (Moisa) slammed me that way. I think that if she talked to people in the community, she wouldn’t find anyone to second her thoughts.”
Among the most serious allegations against Dallas involved Richards. Richards’ girlfriend, who is not named in the report, told the lawyer of an encounter with Dallas during a discussion of a major event in the city. Dallas and Richards were in disagreement over the event and, she said, Dallas told her that she should give Richards a “blow job” in order to bring him around.
Dallas denied that and almost every other allegation brought against him by more than a dozen people, and Moisa concluded that Dallas had not made the comment about oral sex.
Richards and his girlfriend also complained about an encounter with Dallas in a restaurant. They said Dallas came up behind the girlfriend, rubbed her bare shoulders and declared that she was “creamy.”
Never happened, the lawyer concluded, without documenting efforts to find other potential witnesses.
The investigation of Dallas began when wine industry promoter Kim Stemler complained to the city that Dallas had repeatedly made inappropriate, sexually tinged comments to her. Though her name and the name of the other complainants are blacked out in the report, Stemler authorized Voices to identify her in early reports about the complaints.
Moisa verified much of what Stemler alleged but essentially let Dallas off the hook by saying he was guilty of boorish behavior but not sexual harassment. She also wrote that while she made inquiries into all the complaints made against him, she was principally concerned only with any actions that related to his official role as mayor. She found that most of the allegations did not fall into that category.
“After news publication of (Stemler’s) complaint, other individuals came forward and alleged that Mr. Dallas had engaged in inappropriate behavior when he was their landlord, or that he has engaged in bullying conduct,” she wrote. “The Investigator has spoken to all of these individuals. However, because the allegations had no connection with his role as the Mayor or did not allege conduct of a sexual nature, no findings will be made as to these complaints.”
Dallas left office after being defeated by Dave Potter in last November’s election. He objected to the release of the report, arguing that he had not seen the document, but the city emailed the report Thursday to news organizations that had filed public records requests for the document. Voices had requested the document when it was completed in March 2018 and again early this year after a California appellate court ruled that reports on such investigations are public records.
Also out of office now is Glen Mozingo, a Dallas friend and political ally, who had commissioned the report while he was city attorney. He left that position in January after the balance of power shifted on the City Council, creating a new majority that was disturbed about a series of Voices reports about numerous fabrications on his resumé.
“City Attorney Mozingo has not influenced the Investigator in her findings and analysis,” Moisa reported.
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