Mayor Ly's assistant resigns, no longer on City of Elk Grove payroll

Information confirmed by the City Elk Grove verified that Mayor Steve Ly's assistant, Mr. Tyson Sorci, has resigned his part-time position.

Sorci, who had been an appointed part-time assistant to Ly was the mayor's external liaison, resigned his position on February 28. The information was revealed by the city's human resources department to an Elk Grove resident this morning who asked not to be identified for this story.

The resignation comes following Sorci's encounter with protesters from the neighborhood group calling themselves Neighbors Ensuring Stonelake Transparency (NEST). That group objected to actions by Sorci that they characterized as intimidation tactics.

On Saturday, February 23 NEST protesters gathered in front of an event held at California Northstate University (CNU) celebrating  Ly's November 2018 reelection to a second term. Protesters who are opposed to CNU's proposed $750-million hospital in the Stonelake neighborhood took exception to Sorci photographing participants and were particularly upset when he took stand-alone pictures of children at the demonstration.

During the February 27 Elk Grove City Council meeting many NEST members and residents criticized Sorci's actions and urged Ly to take action. Before that meeting, Ly issued a statement saying "any conduct by employees, consultants, volunteers or interns affiliated with my office or me interfering with the exercise of these freedoms will not be tolerated and will be met with a swift action."

As an assistant, Ly noted Sorci made $12 an hour and worked about four hours a week. Additionally, Sorci has been a paid political consultant to Ly according to financial disclosures filed with the Elk Grove city clerk.

In a one-sentence statement issued by the city's public information officer Kristyn Laurence, only verified the February 28 separation. Responding to an email inquiry, Ly referred the matter to the city's human resources department.  

"I’m glad to hear that our City is no longer employing a person who doesn’t seem to value First Amendment rights," Kathy Engle, one of the protesters objecting to Sorci's actions said. "I would hope that Steve Ly follows suit and does not continue to employ Sorci in any capacity, but of course that is his choice." 

NEST spokesperson Dasiy Hughes said she was heartened that action was made regarding Sorci's encounter with protesters. 

“I am thankful to the members of NEST for speaking before the City Council regarding the inappropriate actions of Mr. Sorci," Hughes stated. "This is a sign that our voices were heard and we can make a difference.”

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Capt. Benjamin Willard said...

Although Mr. Sorci is no longer on the city's payroll, it is unlikely he will disappear from the side of Mayor Ly. Now that he is unbridled from the leash of being a civil servant, such as he was, he could become more aggressive on behalf of Mr. Ly.

Short of the limited political damage that might be inflicted on Mr. Ly, which given the general apathy in Elk Grove is small, what recourse will people like the protesters have at their disposal? A civil lawsuit perhaps but that costs money. Will people spend their cash on that? Probably not.

Strangely, this is a victory for Mr. Ly as his pit bull will be off the leash, and damn to any who try to interfere.

Randy Bekker said...

I might agree with you Capt. Benjamin however keep in mind a lot of those protesting voted for Mayor Ly. They haven’t forgot the upsetting behavior of Mr Sorci. Next year 2020 being an election year. Mayor Ly is at a cross roads of his political decision on which way he wants to go. However I don’t see Mr. Sorci driving Mayor Ly around as he is a liability an Ly would lose those that supported him in the past. Mayor Ly tried to rediem himself as writing the letter to the community but am sure as you watched he took a beating at the last Council meeting. He can only recapture his front runner status by leaving his baggage behind. Otherwise if Mr. Sorci is at the Mayor’s side with the CNU issue pretty much seals the deal for Mayor Ly’s stormy political future that he would see himself losing.

Capt. Benjamin Willard said...

Regarding Mr. Bekker's comments, yes, if Mr. Sorci continues to be an aide to the Mayor, it will be a political liability. But let's consider the political minefields Mr. Ly has maneuvered through, especially since 2016.

Last year we will recall that not only was Mayor Ly, but Mr. Sorci as well was personally targeted by the well-funded independent expenditure committee. That campaign did not hurt Mr. Ly's campaign.

While the voters in the Stonelake and Lakeside neighborhoods may reject Ly and Suen for that matter, Ly has talented people behind the scenes who will target voters in other parts of the city. Additionally, it is unlikely the people in those neighborhoods will be able to fund a negative campaign against Mr. Ly the way the independent expenditure did.

Mr. Bekker, I respect your perspective, but I would argue for better or worse most people outside those two neighborhoods and a few others in the community like yourself have little concern about the proposed hospital, and no, I am not a Ly supporter, just a pragmatist.

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