Former Cotati City Councilman George Barich, for years a devoted council gadfly, has filed an ethics complaint against Mayor Janet Orchard.
The complaint alleges that Orchard violated the city’s ethics code by behaving abusively to Barich by interrupting him as he spoke during the section of the meeting reserved for public comment.
“I feel that they mayor’s interruption was a blatant attempt to disrupt my train of thought, to prevent my comments from becoming part of the public record and to intimidate me into stopping from asking any follow-up questions,” Barich said in his written complaint.
At the time, Barich was speaking to Councilman Mark Landman in reference to an ethics complaint another citizen had filed against Landman alleging that he had verbally attacked members of the public.
After asking Landman if he “thought this was funny?” Barich went on to detail an instance when Barich was on the council “and gave a small smile” and Landman allegedly asked him “if I thought this was funny.”
At that point, Orchard said, “George, please make your point” — after which Barich continued to speak.
Orchard on Friday said she had no comment on the complaint against her.
Asked the status of the complaint against Landman, she said: “As far as the timing of anything, our number one priority here is to fill the vacant seat. We have a full plate down here having lost Bob tragically.”
Councilman Bob Coleman-Senghor died April 9 from tear in his aorta.
— Jeremy Hay