Local News

Apr 26, 2010 12:06 PM by Bethany Tucker

City Council's letter to Ed Arnold: "situation has detrimental effect on the reputation of the City"

The Arroyo Grande City Council is preparing to discuss Ed Arnold's future as a city leader.

Tuesday night, the city council is expected to consider a letter from the council to Arnold asking that he resign from the council immediately. City leaders are also expected to take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of his resignation.

The following is an excerpt from the City Council's letter to Arnold:
"In order to serve the best interests of the City at this time, the Council formally requests that you immediately resign from your Council seat. This request and your resignation is no reflection on your guilt or innocence of the pending criminal charges. The City Council fully understands that you are presumed to be innocent until proven otherwise and respects the integrity of the judicial process, as well as your right to defend yourself."

Arnold has been in the public eye since December, when he was arrested on domestic violence and assault charges. He's accused of beating up a 28-year-old woman in that case. But then earlier this month, the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney's Office filed child pornography charges against Arnold. They say while searching his home earlier this year, investigators found nude photos of underage girls and a video tape of an underage girl taking a shower in his home. Arnold has pleaded not guilty to those charges.

Later in the letter, the City Council goes on to say:
"Your current situation has a clear detrimental effect on the reputation and credibility of the City, diverts scarce personnel resources from urgent responsibilities, and is a distraction from our critically important efforts which are focused on addressing community needs and issues. It also raises a number of questions and concerns regarding compliances with the City's ethics policies and guidelines and other policies and regulations, as well as appropriate remedies."

Arnold's attorney, Ilan M. Funke-Bilu, says that Arnold has no intention of stepping down from his council seat.

If Arnold did decide to step down, the city says it would have to hold special election to fill the open seat. If that election is combined with November's regular election, it would cost the city $2,000. The cost would likely exceed $50,000 if a special stand alone election is required.

For a link to the entire agenda item regarding Arnold's future, click here.

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