Update Sept 28: The hand-slapper has apologized to the hand-slappee, but more controversy is brewing on the Sausalito City Council. Read about it in the Marin Independent Journal.

Original post From the Marin Independent Journal:

Sausalito Councilwoman Carolyn Ford is pressing an assault charge against fellow Councilman Mike Kelly after he appeared to slap Ford’s hand at a heated City Council meeting last week.

The council was being briefed on a dredging issue by city Public Works Director Jonathon Goldman at its Sept. 13 meeting when Ford posed a question to him. As Ford listened to the answer it appeared as though Mayor Herb Weiner and Vice Mayor Kelly began to comment. Ford, apparently unable to hear Goldman’s response, held up her hand near Kelly and said “shush,” then put her hand back on the dais.

Kelly responded: “Don’t shush me for Christ sakes,” then appeared to slap Ford’s hand.

Ford then replied: “Don’t hit me.”

Then Kelly repeated: “Don’t shush me. You put your hand on my side of the table.”

Also from the Journal, this statement from Ford:

“The constant hectoring and belittling from my fellow members meets the threshold of abuse. …Vice Mayor Kelly and Council member (Jonathan) Leone are verbally abusive. … The mayor doesn’t reign it in and he occasionally contributes to it. When I spoke to Mayor Weiner several months ago about the verbal abuse and his inability to get it under control, he suggested that I be more passive. …

“I was reluctant to go public with this because it is embarrassing for the Council and the City as a whole.”

Update 9:56 a.m. Here’s the sound version of the Sausalito Slap. The embed works on IE and Chrome on my computer, but not Firefox. Or you can go to around 4:17 of this video archive.

Get Microsoft Silverlight

And here’s a KGO report, where you can see the incident in slo-mo…

Both councilmembers are on a committee dealing with hospitality business development, by the way. There’s an irony in there, somewhere…

Author

Jon Brooks

Jon Brooks writes mostly on film for KQED Arts. He is also an online editor and writer for KQED's daily news blog, News Fix. Jon is a playwright whose work has been produced in San Francisco, New York, Italy, and around the U.S.

Sponsored by

Become a KQED sponsor