Encinitas City Councilwoman Teresa Barth filed a harassment complaint with the city against Councilman Jerome Stocks late last year after he didn’t nominate her for deputy mayor and criticized her in remarks to newspaper reporters on why he didn’t choose her.
Legal counsel deemed the complaint invalid because Barth is not technically a city employee, but only after the city spent $15,249 in legal fees investigating it.
Their dispute started when Stocks was quoted in a Dec. 11, 2009, article in The San Diego Union-Tribune about his decision to nominate Councilwoman Maggie Houlihan for deputy mayor even though it was Barth’s turn in the council rotation.
Stocks said in that article that he was sending Barth a message that she had angered the council majority with personal attacks and a lack of leadership. Stocks criticized Barth for boycotting some City Council closed sessions in 2007; Barth said she did so out of concern that the public wasn’t receiving adequate notice of the meetings.
Barth included that article along with a two-paragraph complaint that she submitted the same day to City Manager Phil Cotton.
“Jerome’s comments about me in this article clearly show that the (vote to appoint Houlihan deputy mayor was) punitive with the intention to threaten and/or intimidate me and create a hostile work environment,” Barth’s complaint stated.
“This behavior is classified under California law as verbal harassment.”
That's not harassment. That's politics. And the litigious Barth cost the city $15,249 in legal fees because her little feelings got hurt. Aren't there any adults in City Hall?