Coeur d’Alene City Councilman Steve Adams issued a press release accusing the mayor and city of attorney of threatening him following last night’s council meeting.
The back story involves the wastewater treatment plant. More specifically: How Adams prefers paying for upgrades to the wastewater treatment plant through a vote rather than judicial confirmation.
Adams prefers the city request $33 million in loans to pay for wastewater treatment plant upgrades through a vote, instead of achieving permission for the expenditures through a judge’s order.
The city, Adams included, originally voted to ask the judge for confirmation to take on the debt because of looming fines — about $1 million a month — should the city not meet tighter federal discharge requirements in about six years.
But Adams later changed his stance, citing Idaho’s Constitution that requires cities to take on debt through a vote. He called the possible fines “rhetoric,” and said there is time to put the issue on a ballot.
The last minute switch has caused a couple of arguments during public meetings between Adams and City Attorney Mike Gridley. The last one was last night. Adams said in his press release today that the argument happened after the meeting was over.
Included is the press release from Adams. A full story is coming in tomorrow’s Press, and The Press is awaiting reply from Gridley and Mayor Sandi Bloem.
— While still in the community room after last night's city council meeting, City Attorney Mike Gridley approached me and asked if I was going to provide him with a copy of the ethics complaint I filed against him. I told him the Idaho State Bar would likely send him a copy with a request to respond. He then proceeded to get in my face and told me was a "moron". I asked him If he was threatening me, he said no, but that in 30 years of practicing law he had never had anyone make a complaint against him, and again he told me I was "moron". He was still in my face at this point, just inches away, leaning in on me. I again asked if he was threatening me and he said no, but that I could "(bleep) off you stupid moron." At this point I grabbed my cell phone and called 911 to ask for officer assistance as I perceived this as an assault. Mr. Gridley walked away saying he was going to his office and then home. I walked through the library and into the ante room where the Mayor, Mike Kennedy, Deanna Goodlander, Wendy Gabriel and Jon Ingalls were standing. Mike Kennedy told me I should calm down. I told him about the exchange I had with Mr. Gridley and he responded with surprise and expressed dissatisfaction. I turned to the Mayor and pointed at her exclaiming that she should take disciplinary action against Mr. Gridley. She told me not to point at her, so I apologized for pointing. She then said not only would she not be disciplining Mr. Gridley but, raising her fist at me, she said she had half a mind to "punch my nose off of my face."
For the City Attorney to verbally assault me, twice now, with inflammatory and derogatory comments, is a violation of his attorney code of ethics and, according to the city's personnel rules, is insubordination. I call for his immediate termination. Mayor Bloem’s actions are unprofessional, disrespectful and definitely unbecoming for the Mayor. I demand an apology. — Steve Adams