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Pismo Beach city council member censured for violating code of ethics

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Posted at 11:33 AM, Feb 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-17 20:28:51-05

UPDATE: Pismo Beach City Council member Marcia Guthrie was formally censured by the other council members and removed from committee assignments Tuesday night.

Guthrie faced the harsh criticism after apparently violating the council's code of ethics.

She was accused of sharing confidential information received during a closed session meeting with an applicant for a building a project.

Guthrie apologized to the other council members before a vote was taken.

The censure passed by a 4-1 vote with Guthrie voting against.

ORIGINAL STORY: A Pismo Beach city councilwoman is facing harsh criticism from the city's leadership for violating the council's code of ethics.

According to public records on the city's website, council member Marcia Guthrie shared information from a closed session meeting of the city council with an applicant for a building project.

In the agenda report, Mayor Ed Waage and Mayor Pro Tem Mary Ann Reiss say Guthrie's actions were a direct violation of the terms of the closed session.

Waage and Reiss are asking the rest of the council to publicly censure Guthrie. That means she would lose her committee assignments and be barred from representing the city in any way.

Guthrie is a local realtor who has been on the council since 2016.

The council will decide whether to approve the motion to censure Guthrie at Tuesday night's meeting.

KSBY reached out to the City of Pismo Beach's Human Resources department about the matter. Management services director Jorge Garcia said the city is not commenting on the situation involving Guthrie. However, Garcia said this motion to censure Guthrie is an agenda item that was made at the request of the mayor and mayor pro tem. City staff has not been involved in any recommendation to censure the councilwoman, according to Garcia.