Brooklyn Park City Council votes to censure member

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The Brooklyn Park City Council voted to censure Council Member Boyd Morson on Monday evening.

The vote passed unanimously, with Morson speaking from the dais in opposition to the censure.

An independent investigation alleged that Morson violated the city’s respectful workplace policy and code of conduct in his treatment of a female city employee.

The investigation, which was conducted by a law firm hired by the city manager, found that Morson subjected the employee to “unwelcome physical touch when he stood behind her chair, bent over her chair, and whispered into her ear while rubbing the back of her shoulders and neck.”

A redacted investigative report said the scope of the review also focused on allegations that Morson “on several occasions aggressively communicated by email with a city employee.”

Morson said in an interview Monday with 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that the allegations raised in the report are “not true.”

The law firm behind the investigative report said it gave Morson multiple opportunities for an interview and the conclusions reached were done “without the benefit of his statement.”

“They gave me multiple chances to talk to me — but why would I talk to them when this is untrue,” Morson said.

Morson was asked why he never spoke with investigators to clear his name from the allegations.

“Well my name is clear — I don’t care about what they say or do,” Morson responded.

The independent investigator wrote in the report that the city employee went to her supervisor the day after the incident to make a report.

After reviewing the investigative report with the City Council in a closed-door meeting last Monday night, Mayor Lisa Jacobson asked the city attorney to draft up language for the censure vote that would also remove Morson from numerous roles at City Hall, including committee duties.

The motion was approved to draft the possible censure documents by council members in attendance.

“The people of Brooklyn Park – our residents, business owners, and city staff – expect their Mayor and City Council to govern the city with the highest degree of professionalism,” Jacobson wrote in a statement about the possible censure for policy violations. “I and my City Council colleagues will continue to work to ensure a safe and welcoming workplace for all.”

Jacobson called for the motion involving Morson to also include wording that “…all email and public statements —verbally, and on social media with staff, the mayor, council colleagues, shall be professional, and no longer threatening, abusive or disparaging…”

“I’m truly surprised ’cause none of them heard my side so how do you vote if you’ve never heard the side of what I have to say — you just rushed to judgment,” Morson said.

Morson added that he won’t resign from his elected position.

“The people put me here — the people elected me,” Morson said. “Not staff and not fellow council members.”