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Oroville City Council censures mayor over alleged harassment

The Oroville City Council.

The Oroville City Council meeting began contentiously on Tuesday night when the city council voted to read the censure of Oroville Mayor Linda Dahlmeier in front of the attendees.

Dahlmeier is being accused of verbally harassing city employees in both private and public, which led to the resignation of at least one of those employees.

Council member Linda Draper voted along with four of her colleagues in favor of hearing the censure of the mayor. Council member Scott Thomson voted against the censure.

Draper said she's usually not one to seek the limelight, but agreed to speak about the meeting because she believes something had to be done about the mayor's behavior.

"We are concerned about the morale of the staff," Draper said. "We wanted them to know that we are attempting to protect them from further harassment, and the mayor should not be going in and directing them or harassing them in any way."

Thomson voted against the censure and said it's unjust to put all the blame on the mayor. Thomson questioned why the other council members were rushing the censure through, and said that it's heartbreaking to see the council acting as judge jury and executioner.

The city attorney recommended against the council's decision to present the censure vote in open session.

Within the seven-paragraph censure document is an allegation that Dahlmeier broke the City of Oroville Code of Ethics by publicly chastising city employees.

Draper is eager to put all of this behind her.

"We hope that we can work with (Dahlmeier) going forward more respectfully, and that, on both sides, we hope also that she will treat the staff more respectfully as well," Draper said.

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