|Mayor Dan Drew and Corporation Counsel|
That's what Common Council members found out as a council member, Gerry Daley, effectively blocked the release of an investigation into gender bias and discrimination in the mayor's and the city attorney's office.
After the regular Common Council meeting adjourned in record time (29 minutes), the Council gathered for a special meeting to release the investigation into the mayor's office that the Common Council had commissioned in January.
But before the meeting could begin, Council member Gerry Daley raised a point of order asking "Is the call a legal call, and is this a legal meeting?"
He cited three reasons why the meeting would not be considered legal. He indicated that despite charter requirements there was no "public session" (allowing the public to comment) at the scheduled special meeting despite the fact the Common Council has conducted several special meetings in the past with no public session. He also said that no "questions to directors" was scheduled, and that the meeting did not meet the legal requirements for an executive session.
Corporation counsel Daniel Ryan, who seemed ready to rule, agreed. He said the call of the meeting was "fatally flawed."
"This call is not a legal call," Ryan stated. "And is not a legal meeting"
Despite the ruling, members of the Common Council spent more than an hour debating whether the meeting was, indeed, legal, and whether, the investigative report on the mayor's office, and the city attorney's office could be released.
|Council member Mary Bartolotta|
argues her point.
"The only reasonable explanation as to why the executive session would be called as a meeting of the whole would be to exclude the mayor," Daley said.
Daley insisted that he was as anxious as every other Council member to have the report released.
Council member Mary Bartolotta countered Daley's contention saying that the meeting was "legal and appropriate and was our right to do so." She indicated that it did not make sense to have the mayor sit as chair in a meeting in which he was the subject of investigation.
|Council member Gerry Daley|
Republican minority leader Seb Giuliano indicated that he wasn't concerned about whether the meeting would move forward, but stated that the investigative report should be released to council members and the public.
"If the report is available, I'm not leaving the meeting without it," Giuliano said.
In the end, despite confronting the investigating attorney, Margaret Mason, outside of Council chambers, Giuliano and the rest of the council members left without the report. The investigating attorney said she would only release the report at a proper meeting.
Council members agreed to accept the report of the investigating attorney at a special meeting to be called within "the next couple of days."
After the meeting Daley expressed fears that the release of the report, which has generated controversy in the past week, might lead to lawsuits against the Council and the city.