A Morro Bay resident could face charges for harassing city councilmembers over the last several months.
That resident, who KSBY has chosen not to identify since no criminal charges have been filed, may face penalties if the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office moves forward with the case.
Those messages that included explicit and sexual language has the council speaking out against the behavior.
“This isn’t something that is okay,” councilmember Dawn Addis said. “It’s concerning to me when people feel like free speech in every case should trump humane treatment of one another. I think we can have both and I think we can have both in a civil discourse.”
Addis was a target of the resident’s ire over a policy issue but says the resident immediately began the disagreement with sexual, aggressive, and at times, threatening language.
“I learned later this person has been posting about me for months, including saying, ‘She appears to be an attractive woman, maybe she can get a job as a pole dancer,” Addis said during Wednesday’s city council meeting.
According to Morro Bay Police Chief Jody Cox, Addis wasn’t the only target. The resident sent similar messages to other councilmembers over the past several months.
“They are in my opinion, not only vulgar and full of hate and vehemence, but they misrepresent everything this community is all about,” Mayor John Headding said. “Personally I have zero tolerance for that kind of behavior.”
That behavior has law enforcement involved now.
“I think these communications are really over the top,” Cox said. “We don’t approve of that and we take it very seriously.”
Addis added in her statement; “By bringing abuses to light we build our collective capacity to end them. We enable ourselves to foster community and lean on one another. We create space to be honest and humane.
I’m sharing my experience because silence, while easier, is no longer the answer.”
You can read her comments in full here.
The district attorney’s office said it is reviewing the case.
We reached out to the resident for comment, but have not heard back.