Council to Meet in Response to Allegations Against Mayor

Members of the Murrieta City Council will meet Wednesday morning to discuss possible action in light of allegations made against Mayor Harry...

Members of the Murrieta City Council will meet Wednesday morning to discuss possible action in light of allegations made against Mayor Harry Ramos (second from right).
Murrieta 24/7 photo: Kristen Spoon

A special meeting of the Murrieta City Council will be held this Wednesday, June 24, in response to allegations of misconduct concerning Mayor Harry Ramos.

Council members are asked to provide direction to the city manager and city attorney about how to proceed in light of the allegations, which were voiced by five residents during the June 16 City Council meeting. The special meeting will begin at 8:30 a.m. at City Hall, located at 1 Town Square. It is open to the public.

Accusations against Ramos made by the residents at the June 16 meeting included:

-- An accusation that Ramos was overheard making racist comments about candidates for city commissions following interviews of those individuals.

-- Allegations of engaging in inappropriate conduct with city staff members.

-- Allegations of "multiple complaints of unwanted inappropriate advances toward members of the community."

One of the accusers was Doug McAlister, a former Murrieta City Council member and mayor. In a brief response to the allegations that night, Ramos denied any wrongdoing.

According to a meeting agenda report released by the City today, certain allegations made may not come within the authority of the City Council and would not be disclosed to the public. However, according to the report, an investigation into whether Ramos' conduct meets the standards set by the Council's Code of Conduct is not a confidential matter. The City Council would have the right to direct that a third-party investigation be conducted.

Also according to the report submitted by city staff, Ramos would be allowed to participate in a discussion of the process to be used for conducting an investigation but should not be allowed to participate in a vote on whether to conduct an investigation, because of a conflict of interest.

Possible options for an investigator include a private investigator, retired law enforcement member, attorney, or retired judge, according to the report. Hourly expenses could range from $100 to $750.

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