The Milpitas City Council has threatened to either censure first-term Mayor Rich Tran or seek his resignation if he doesn’t stop his “unacceptable behavior” and unprofessional conduct, which it says included hugging a department head and making age-related comments.
In a letter delivered to Tran late Tuesday night following a City Council meeting, the council says Tran has tarnished the city’s reputation and undermined public trust in elected officials. It issued the letter one day after sending out a press release publicly rebuking the mayor.
But Tran is pushing back, claiming the public statements amount to nothing more than a political take-down attempt during an election year organized by council members who don’t support his re-election.
This news organization reported last week that a 2017 city-commissioned investigative report by an outside firm concluded Tran likely “engaged in conduct of a sexual nature” when he hugged a department head at a holiday dinner in 2016.
It also suggested he “more likely than not… made age-based comments” to former City Manager Tom Williams and other employees, which Williams alluded to in making legal threats against the city.
In the press release sent out Monday evening referring to that report, the council said it had an obligation to express its “deep concerns about the professional behavior of Mayor Rich Tran as an elected official and as Mayor of our city.”
The four council members who issued the press release are Vice Mayor Marsha Grilli, Garry Barbadillo, Bob Nuñez and Anthony Phan.
They wrote that elected officials serve in a position of public trust, and “when a member of our City Council, including the Mayor, demonstrates a lack of respect for our code of ethics and for the public we have been elected to serve, then it reflects poorly on the City and corrodes that trust we have worked so hard to build and maintain.”
The Tuesday letter also referenced the investigative report’s findings.
“To be clear, this behavior is not acceptable to the Council,” the letter said of Tran’s alleged comments regarding age and gender. “It is mandatory that you conduct yourself professionally and with an eye toward appropriate interpersonal boundaries and decorum in all such circumstances.”
It concluded by saying that if Tran doesn’t clean up his act, especially in public, “the City is prepared to do any of the following:
• Make use of the City’s Censure Policy.
• Seek to limit your use of City Hall.
• Publicly seek your resignation.”
Tran said in …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Latest News