by Dan Gibson
No big surprises in the Office of Equal Opportunity Programs report released today on Paul Cunningham's behavior in San Diego while on a TREO-sponsored trip.
A few highlights:
"A total of fifteen witnesses were interviewed that had been identified as either having personal knowledge of, or had witnessed the comments made by Councilmember Cunningham of three female city staff members."
"There were no reported allegations of inappropriate physical contact between the Councilmember and [the staff members that were engaged in "inappropriate, graphic and sexual" conversation by Cunningham]."
"Witnesses confirmed that the Councilmember had consumed large amounts of alcohol throughout the late afternoon during an earlier gathering and he continued drinking heavily during the evening events."
"...two of the women stated in their interviews that they had experienced similar comments and behavior directed at them from the Councilmember on prior occasions during non-city sanctioned events....In both instances, the women reported that Councilmember Cunningham appeared to have been intoxicated."
The report recommends that the Directive regarding Sexual Harassment be reviewed with all members of council office staffs and the councilmembers themselves, that training be conducted for council offices, that the Mayor and Council develop a Code of Ethics Policy, and that the City Manager require all City employees to be trained on an on-going basis regarding Sexual Harassment.
I admit and take full responsibility for becoming intoxicated, acting unprofessionally and making inappropriate comments.
At this time, I continue to make amends to co-workers and constituents, participate in an alcohol treatment program, and perform the duties of my office to the best of my ability.
The report documents what I have already acknowledged; I made inappropriate comments that occurred at a bar after-hours. The incident was not during any formal part of the trip's program. The incident did not involve physical contact or unwanted sexual advances.
I wish to thank all those family and friends in the community who have recently offered their love and support.
I believe that it is time to move forward with my personal and professional responsibilities and I will not comment further on this issue.
Here's the whole report, if you're interested in reading it: