Rochester City Council Censures Councilmember Molly Dennis
Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - A majority of the Rochester City Council voted Monday night to discipline a fellow member.
The vote was 4-1 to formally censure 6th Ward Councilmember Molly Dennis over ongoing and persistent concerns about her conduct with fellow Councilmembers and city staff. The resolution mentions "elevated and unproductive behavior" during and after a City Council study session that was held at the Plummer House on February 27 but did provide specific examples of the objectionable behavior.
The resolution does list a number of specific concerns. They include intimidating physical behaviors and escalated physical behaviors during times of disagreement, ongoing inflammatory and unfounded allegations against other City Councilmembers and City staff, threatening and manipulative behaviors "exercised" toward City staff and elected officials, and excessive use of City time and resources.
The formal censure limits Dennis to having only virtual meetings with City staff for the remainder of this year and requires that her interactions with City staff to Department Heads, the City Administrator, and the City Attorney. In addition, all of her communication to City employees will have to be in writing, by email, and copied to the City Administrator.
The resolution also calls on Dennis to refrain from "continued negative interactions and behaviors, personal attacks, and inappropriate communications with the City Council and City staff. She has also been instructed to refrain from representing the City's official position unless requested by the City Council. She has also been told that she must make it clear that the opinions she expresses are her own and not necessarily representative of the City's position when speaking with partners and the public.
The resolution was added to the City Council agenda during tonight's meeting, prompting Dennis to say she felt "blindsided."
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