Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Massachusetts City Councillor facing recall petitions following sexual harassment charges

Petitions have taken out against five term At-Large Councilor Donald L. Cykowski. For an at-large elected official, petitioners first need an affidavit signed by at least 400 voters, with at least 60 signatures from each of the city's five precincts. Petitioners then need to get signatures of 20% of registered voters in three weeks (2,236 signatures). Cost is estimated to be $8,000, and due to timing would have to take place after the presidential election. It is thought to be the first Easthampton's in at least 29 years ago.

Mayor Michael A. Tautznik was one of the first to sign the petition. Seven of the nine city councillors signed a letter calling for Cykowski to resign. According to the article:
Cykowski has come under fire for a racist comment at a City Council meeting as well as for allegations that he sexually harassed a former library director while he was a member of the library board.

When a fellow councilor was accidentally locked out of the council chambers during a Dec. 7 meeting, Cykowski said, "Where's a Puerto Rican when we need one?" He later said he was sorry if he offended anyone.

In March, calls for his resignation were renewed when the Gazette reported that Rebecca Plimpton, former director of the Emily Williston Memorial Library, accused Cykowski of sexually harassing her from 2000 to 2007 while he was a member of the library board. He denied wrongdoing, but resigned from that board on March 18.

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