VANCOUVER, Wash. -- The Vancouver City Council unanimously voted to penalize the councilwoman who had a controversial outburst during a recent council meeting.
Council members recommended that Jeanne Harris be pulled off every committee she currently serves on, in addition to getting a letter of reprimand.
In mid-September, Harris was involved in an outburst againstthe mayor and a community member during a council meeting. Later in the meeting, she also verbally attacked a colleague, councilwoman Jeanne Stewart.
After reviewing the incident which was captured on video and spread quickly on YouTube, a city council ethics committee ruled that Harris' behavior was unacceptable and disrespectful and should be addressed. The recommendations were passed on to the city attorney and city manager and then they were were put up for a city council vote on October 11.
This marked the first time in the history of Vancouver's council that an ethics committee has met and made this type of decision regarding a council member, and then passed its recommendations on to the council for a full vote. The ethics committee was made up of three city council members.
Background: Outburst during council meeting
Harris is currently in Germany on a fellowship and could not be reached for comment about Monday night's vote. But following the incident, Harris issued a public apology, saying that she lost her temper and it would not happen again.
I simply lost my temper, after 14 years of listening and taking notes, sometimes on the same issue and same comments week after week I lost my temper. I'm not happy about it and it won't happen again, Harris wrote. I do want to find a way to have a discussion on the broader issue of civil discourse.
However, some of Harris' coworkers got a different email. According to the Columbian newspaper, Harris sent a message to the city manager, city attorney and city council that was less than apologetic.
Looks like I've lost two policies and we've received numerous rude phone calls that my 19 year old customer service rep has had to listen to, the email read, according to the Columbian. Apparently the gavel incident is now on utube (sic). Thanks for making my life hell.
Background:Vancouver councilwoman defends her outburst