STATEMENT REGARDING ALLEGATIONS OF HARASSMENT
Recently, one member of the City Council has been reported to have engaged in conduct which places the City of Lynwood under a cloud of suspicion. The allegations under review are serious and troubling. The City Council wants to publically and collectively state that the City of Lynwood follows a zero tolerance against those who are the focus of claims or complaints of sexual harassment, hostile work environment or intimidating conduct by any employee, officer or elected official of the City.
It is with this in mind that the City Council informs the community that it is taking strong, swift action which includes the following:
- The City Council has directed that a full and complete investigation be conducted by an independent third party to delve into the allegations presented. The investigator has been given the task and responsibility of conducting a comprehensive inquiry of all facts, details and allegations contained in the complaint. This process will follow all required policies of City and be conducted consistent with California State law.
- The City Council and all City employees and officials are committed to the protection of all employees and officers, including the City Manager and the City’s managerial staff. Again, no one should be subjected to an environment of harassment or to circumstances resulting in a hostile work place. The right of all employees to work in a safe setting is a top priority.
- While California law prohibits the City Council to unilaterally remove one of its members, Councilmember Hernandez has voluntarily agreed to relinquish his position as Mayor Pro Tem. He has also agreed to be removed from all internal and external committees or outside agency assignments. In addition, he has consented, pending the outcome of the City’s independent investigation, not to interact with any City employees or officials and to participate in Council meetings only by telephonic attendance, not to attend any City events and not visit City Hall.
In light of the current unfortunate circumstances reported against elected office at all levels of government, the City of Lynwood and the City Council supports those who have been victimized by any type of harassing or inappropriate conduct and strongly condemns those who engage in such egregious behavior. The residents of our community have the right to expect the highest level of integrity, respect and personal behavior of its elected officials.
The City Council stands firm in its commitment to such fundamental principles and practices.