Here’s the most up to date info I have about the El Monte report. One expert said it should be released to the public regardless of whether the council decides to discuss it.
Report on mayor released to council
By Jennifer McLain, Staff Writer
Article Launched: 06/16/2008 10:38:02 PM PDT
EL MONTE – The city declined Monday to release a staff investigation into allegations that Mayor Ernie Gutierrez acted inappropriately at a city-sponsored event.
El Monte City Council members on Thursday received the report, which dealt with accusations that the mayor was drunk, groped his girlfriend and shouted vulgarities at a May 3 event.
“The report has gone to council,” said city spokesman Matt Weintraub. “But it is up to the council to determine how they want to deal with it.”
Gutierrez did not return calls for comment.
Terry Francke, counsel for Californians Aware, an open-government advocacy group, said council members can choose not to discuss the report, but they must make it available to the public.
“Under (open meeting laws), any document that is delivered to a majority of a body … is subject to disclosure on request,” Francke said.
If the council chooses to discuss the item, it must be done in open session, Francke said.
On Monday, Councilwoman Patricia Wallach said that she requested that the council discuss the report in public and the soonest it could be discussed is the July 7 council meeting.
The City Council asked for an investigation into the matter because it occurred at a city-sponsored event.
“It is a public matter, and the report should be public,” Wallach said. “We’ve asked for this investigation, and the people are waiting to see what it is about. They have a right to
The accusations were made at a May 6 council meeting by resident Henry August, who complained that Gutierrez acted inappropriately with Graciela Solano at a city-sponsored event. Officials said Solano is the mayor’s girlfriend.
August chose to approach Gutierrez publicly because he wanted the city to take action, although some have accused August of having political motivations.
“The whole point was his actions. It has nothing to do with his personal life or with politics. It was just that the behavior was an embarrassment to the city,” August said.
Council members would not discuss the details of the two-page report.
Wallach said some residents who have talked to her believe the city will ignore the allegations.
“We are not going to let this drop,” Wallach said. “It has to be cleared up one way or another.”