Elk Grove Mayor Steve Ly releases statement of apology, tells supporters to stop 'reprehensible behavior towards women'

Updates from the Mayor - City of Elk Grove
Elk Grove Mayor Steve Ly. | 

This evening Elk Grove Mayor Steve Ly issued a statement of apology in the aftermath of claims made by several women of harassment and bullying.

The most recent claim was made by Cosumnes Community Services District Jaclyn Moreno, who earlier this week said Ly did not correctly address her concerns over the behavior of a campaign employee. Moreno said Ly's employee during the 2018 campaign, of which the two were partners, made numerous derogatory comments about her, which Ly failed to correct.

Along with Moreno's concerns, without mentioning them by name, Ly addressed claims by his 2016 campaign manager Linda Vue and lifestyle writer Jacqueline Cheung. Both women said people associated with the Hmong community and Ly, who is of Hmong descent, harassed them after Cheung published an unflattering piece written by Vue about her experiences working with Ly during his first mayoral campaign in 2016.

Along with Moreno, Cheung, and Vue, Elk Grove Unified School District Trustees Bobbie Singh-Allen and Nancy Chaires- Espinoza have written about their experiences with Ly. Both claimed they were unreasonably targeted by Ly before his election to the Elk Grove City Council in 2014. 

The controversy has formally made its way to the Wednesday, August 12 Elk Grove City Council meeting. At that meeting, the city council will address the claims and consider censuring Ly.

Below is Ly's statement in its entirety.

Over the past few weeks, I have had time to reflect on the disturbing and unacceptable incidents experienced by women in our community. They have spoken out about being harassed, intimidated, and bullied. I believe them and acknowledge their pain. I am deeply sorry for the pain and suffering they have endured. I realize that Jaclyn Moreno’s experience was hurtful and her needs should have been centered more. I am sincerely sorry she had to experience that.

I do not condone any conduct of anyone who engages in disrespectful and harmful behavior towards women or any person. To any supporter or anyone who claims to be acting in my name as a way to show their support, this is not the way. Please stop such reprehensible behavior. This only further hurts those who have experienced and endured the negative impacts of such actions.

To anyone who has been subjected to any form of harassment, intimidation, or bullying: You have my full support, sympathy, and commitment to end such behavior no matter who or what the cause of it is. I continue to believe in restorative justice, and to that end, I renew my willingness to meet with the women who have spoken out and have been harmed to begin the process of healing.

Furthermore, I agree that multiple approaches for systemic change are needed. I support Jaclyn Moreno’s recommendation for change. Let’s be inclusive regarding changes with policies and procedures, not just only in the city, but hopefully in the CSD and school district as well. We should also jointly form an ethics commission that will review the rights and due process of all, including women and girls. I am hopeful we will come together to heal and better serve Elk Grove.

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1 comment

Atticus Finch said...

A poorly written, poorly worded, four paragraph weak attempt for an "educated" elected official. Even the rhetoric was short. Ly has had time to reflect but what has he learned during that reflection period? Ly reminds me of an adolescent that was caught red handed participating in nefarious behavior and will say and do anything to escape the consequences. Free tip. If you are truly sincere in your contrition and wish to repent, the RIGHT thing to do would have been to contact the parties offended by your behavior, privately without fanfare, to seek absolution. An honest, substantive statement would have included input from Ms. Vue, Ms. Singh-Allen, Ms. Moreno, Ms. Cheung and Ms. Espinoza. Ly speaks of inclusion, yet he excluded these women by not reaching out to them FIRST before putting out a press release.
We don't need an ethics commission. We need ethical leaders that know the difference between right and wrong, bad behavior from good behavior, and putting the interests of others before oneself. Voters will decide in November.

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