Debate about Wiechman continues

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The actions of Ward 4 Councilman David Wiechman continued to be an item of discussion at Monday’s regular city council meeting.

During the Feb. 4 council study session, Wiechman issued an apology for an image that inadvertently appeared on his iPad screen when a city staff member was helping him with his city e-mail.

The name of the staff member has not been released to protect his or her identity.

During the public comment session of the meeting, Lorna Fox said that the incident has been discussed a lot by residents, and shows poor judgment on Wiechman’s part.

“Wiechman offered a rather weak apology, and has said through his attorney that the issue should rest with his constituents,” she said. “Since he probably won’t choose to resign, hopefully his constituents will speak loudly and clearly about workplace decency and employee protection. Our city deserves no less.”

John Fox also spoke about the issue, and advised that council should create some new rules to ensure this doesn’t happen again.

“It was clearly upsetting enough for employee that she reported it to her supervisor, and according to city resources manager the image was ‘fully exposed nude, pornographic, explicit and vulgar,’” Fox said. “If it is correct that no City Council rules were broken, City Council should come up with rules that address iPads and other behavioral issues that reflect negatively on council.”

Wiechman also had residents who spoke on his behalf, including Greg Kelly, who alleged that council was using the incident for political reasons.

“The incident with Wiechman’s computer, is unfortunate, but I don’t think what issue is about. I suggest to people of the city they look closely — it’s a political issue, with the desire to get Wiechman out of the way,” Kelly said. “He’s apologized about this, and it’s unfortunate, but I believe council is taking advantage of situation. I ask you step up and move past this issue.”

Wiechman did not respond to any of the comments, and Ward 5 Councilman Tom Quinn was the only council member during the meeting to respond.

“We have an obligation on council to protect our employees from inappropriate conduct, and I make no apologies whatsoever about that,” he said. “The employee’s story differs dramatically from that of councilor Wiechman. We cannot simply walk away from this, and just forget about the whole thing. It was clearly inappropriate conduct and I make no apologies whatsoever for bringing up this issue.”