News

DA won't prosecute on Brown Act violation

Menlo Park Councilwoman Kelly Fergusson solicited support to be selected mayor

Menlo Park Councilwoman Kelly Fergusson will not face criminal charges for a Brown Act violation, the district attorney's office announced Tuesday (Feb. 1).

In a written statement, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe and Deputy District Attorney Albert Serrato said that since Fergusson's serial meeting didn't result in any action taken by the council, her violation didn't violate the criminal provision of the Brown Act.

Although the investigation confirmed the serial meeting, Serrato said no collective decision or commitment was reached.

"Mr. Ohtaki did not vote for Ms. Fergusson, but more relevant here, he did not agree or commit to voting for her in his discussions with her," Serrato said.

Rescinding the original vote that made Fergusson mayor of Menlo Park provided a sufficient civil remedy, according to the statement.

The Almanac broke the story of the violation in December. The councilwoman solicited support to be chosen as mayor in one-on-one conversations with fellow council members Rich Cline and Peter Ohtaki. Both said they were unaware that she had spoken to a majority of the council.

After the city attorney confirmed the violation, Fergusson stepped down as mayor on Dec. 10 and the council held another vote, this time choosing Cline.

More details will be posted as they become available.

We can't do it without you.
Support local journalism.

Comments

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Don't be the last to know

Get the latest headlines sent straight to your inbox every day.

Peek inside the fine-dining Selby's, opening in Redwood City this summer
By Elena Kadvany | 3 comments | 2,625 views

Juggling Renewables
By Sherry Listgarten | 42 comments | 2,079 views

Premarital and Couples: Living as Roommates?
By Chandrama Anderson | 2 comments | 1,469 views

Homestead Faire at Hidden Villa 4/27
By Laura Stec | 5 comments | 890 views

A trial run
By Cheryl Bac | 0 comments | 555 views

 

Vote now!

It's time once again to cast your vote for the best places to eat, drink, shop and spend time in Palo Alto. Voting is open now through May 27. Watch for the results of our 2019 Best Of contest on Friday, July 19.

Vote