Update August 13:
ELK GROVE, Calif. -- Elk Grove City Council members did not vote to censure Mayor Steve Ly. Instead, the council voted, 4-0, to refer the matter to the Sacramento County grand jury to determine if there should be an investigation.
The decision came after more than 100 people called in to give public comment, many speaking out against the women making the accusations against Ly.
The behavior or the mayor and his associates have reached a tipping point in Elk Grove.
Outside of Elk Grove's City Hall on Wednesday, Aug. 12, multiple women who accuse Mayor Steve Ly of using surrogates or fake media accounts to bully and harass them say enough is enough and are asking the city to make changes.
The six women held a press conference before the city council meeting with recommendations for policy changes in Elk Grove that hope to curb this behavior in the future. At Wednesday's meeting, the council is expected to consider whether or not to censure Mayor Steve Ly after multiple people accused him and his associates of threatening and intimidating them for being critical of the mayor.
The suggestions by the six women include:
- Strengthen the city’s harassment policy.
- Create a clear reporting and investigative process for both staff and residents.
- Create a third-party compliance hotline where employees and residents can make reports of harassment.
- Create a city-wide committee on the status of women and girls.
The allegations first came to light after Mayor Ly’s former campaign manager wrote an op-ed on the Elk Grove Tribune detailing her negative experiences and calling the Mayor "egotistic and callous." Soon after, other women started sharing their stories. The community news website also ran the Mayor’s response, but the editor-in-chief Dr. Jacqueline Cheung says she also started to get harassed soon after.
“I’ve been cussed out in person; my car was egged. We were followed, I’m afraid to go out. I usually go bike riding with my little girls, and we haven’t been able to go out lately,” Cheung said.
Bobbie Singh-Allen says that in 2012 when she newly appointed as a school board member to the Elk Grove Unified School District, Mayor Ly and his associates contacted the school district to challenge and overturn her appointment.
“He has abused his power, his oath of office, he has abused his seat as the mayor. It is time to hold the bully at city hall accountable,” Singh-Allen
Singh-Allen is running against Mayor Ly during the November mayoral election.
The Elk Grove City Council is set to vote on whether to censure Mayor Ly over the allegations. If Mayor Ly is censured by his colleagues, there would no penalty. It’s only a way of saying city leaders believe he did something wrong.
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