City manager urges additional training for Santa Rosa council members

Santa Rosa's city manager is recommending the entire City Council readopt its code of conduct and undergo additional training in the wake of the investigation into whether Councilman Gary Wysocky created a hostile work environment at City Hall.

Kathy Millison informed the council of her recommendation Monday and publicly disclosed it Thursday, a week after the revelation that the six-month investigation had recently been concluded.

Millison made the recommendation in consultation with the outside attorney who conducted the investigation, Morin Jacob, in part to demonstrate the council's commitment to maintaining a positive work environment for its employees, she said.

"Because of the unusual nature of this kind of complaint, it's important, I think, to have an opportunity for the council to demonstrate to the public and to the employees that they take these things seriously," Millison said.

Mayor Scott Bartley filed a complaint against Wysocky in early November after he overheard a loud argument between Wysocky and City Attorney Caroline Fowler in a conference room in the city manager's office on Oct. 29. That's the day City Hall was closed and two public meetings were canceled in response to a downtown march by people protesting the shooting death of 13-year-old Andy Lopez on Oct. 22.

The city hired an outside attorney to investigate the allegation, the results of which remain confidential. Wysocky has dismissed the probe as baseless and a waste of money. He has also characterized it as an abuse of power by the mayor and indicative of a "culture of secrecy at City Hall."

Despite his calls for greater transparency, Wysocky has refused to turn over the letter he received informing him of the resolution of the case. He says the letter confirms he didn't violate the city's anti-harassment discrimination policy, but asserts he failed to treat the Bartley and Fowler with respect.

He says he doesn't mind if details of the investigation are released, but says it should be city that does it, not him.

Bartley said the recommendations speak for themselves and indicate that something inappropriate did transpire.

"Obviously, the recommendations were made for a reason," Bartley said. "Why would that come out as a recommendation if nothing happened?"

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