In a scathing letter to Seattle City Councilwoman Lorena Gonzalez, Mayor Jenny Durkan has called for an investigation of Socialist Councilwoman Kshama Sawant to determine whether she should be sanctioned or even removed from her council position.
The two-page letter may be viewed here.
Sawant has been an outspoken critic of Mayor Durkan and her handling of the current protest movement that has seized six blocks of residential and business property on Capitol Hill, calling it the “Capitol Hill Occupied Protest” (CHOP) zone.
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Sawant allegedly led a march to Durkan’s home as part of a protest, during which time the home was vandalized with spray paint. Earlier, according to Durkan’s complaint, Sawant used her official position, and possibly staff members, to “encourage attendants at a rally she led on June 28, 2020 to illegally ‘occupy’ City property.”
Sawant also allegedly used her official position to “admit hundreds of individuals at night into City Hall when it was closed to the public because of COVID-19…” That incident was reported by local news crews. There was no social distancing or masking.
According to Durkan’s letter, Sawant also has used her official office and equipment to promote and raise money for a ballot initiative. Sawant also allegedly didn’t comply with public disclosure to report all the funds raised and the time spent in those activities.
The Socialist councilwoman has been a lightning rod for controversy since she first ran for office. Among the serious allegations leveled by Durkan, “she may have effectively delegated decisions regarding hiring and termination of city employees to an outside political organization.” That organization is identified as National Executive Committee and Seattle Executive Committee of the Socialist Alternative party.
Fox News interviewed Seattle Police Officers’ Guild President Michael Solan Tuesday. He issued a warning about what happens when—as it has in Seattle—an area is allowed to become “police free” as is the CHOP zone on Capitol Hill. There have been four shootings and two people killed this month on two successive weekends.
According to Durkan’s letter, Article IV, Section 4 of the city charter allows “provides the Council may punish or expel a member for disorderly or otherwise contemptuous behavior.”
In the wake of a fatal shooting early Monday in the CHOP zone—in which a 16-year-old was killed and a 14-year-old was seriously wounded—Sawant contended that the area experienced violence long before CHOP was established. But a Seattle Times look at crime in that neighborhood tells a different story. The newspaper said the neighborhood experienced on three homicides in all of 2019, and there hadn’t been a killing there until CHOP was occupied three weeks ago.
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