The Brentwood City Council has sanctioned Vice Mayor Johnny Rodriguez for allegedly violating the city’s ethics and conduct policy.

The sanction came on a 3-to-1-0 vote, with Mayor Joel Bryant dissenting and Rodriguez abstaining after Councilwoman Karen Rarey alleged that the vice mayor had shared confidential, closed-session information with an outside party.

Rarey told the council she first thought Rodriguez had shared confidential evaluation papers with someone in 2021 when she noticed the handwriting on his paper seemed “feminine-like.” It wasn’t until months later that she saw his writing was not the same as the evaluation notes he had allegedly written about the city manager and city attorney and a later conversation with an outside attorney confirmed it was “a serious concern.”

“When it says confidential on the envelope, you don’t share them with somebody else,” she said, noting that includes family and friends. “So, if there’s a reason you need to share it, it needs to be brought to the  city manager.”

City Manager Tom Odgen, in his report, said the council could choose to do nothing or admonish, sanction or censure Rodriguez, but because of the time necessary for a required investigation and hearing on the latter, it would not be possible by Dec. 13 when the vice mayor is ending his term.

With no time for the most-severe response, which is a censure, Rarey asked the council to sanction Rodriguez – the next less severe form of action directed toward a specific council member. A sanction, unlike a censure, is not considered a punishment and gives the person accused an opportunity to provide a written or verbal response, according to the staff report.

In his response, Rodriguez said he was frustrated and confused about the situation, which came to light at a previous council session and also included criticism about him allegedly from an unnamed resident.

“I’ve been an open book for about 30 years,” he said. “I know that I have been working in a community for as long as I have been working with young people. I’ve always expressed the difficulties that I have at times in regards to expressing myself when it comes to writing. I know that it’s something that I’ve always had a challenge with.”

Rodriguez admitted he asked his wife to help him with the writing on the evaluation because he was “having a hard time expressing” his thoughts.

“I know that those evaluations were very important and I wanted …read more

Source:: The Mercury News


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