By Per Peterson
After nearly four hours of courtroom-like rhetoric and public deliberation, the Tracy City Council late Wednesday night voted unanimously to remove Jeff Salmon from the EDA board, based on findings of a hearing that included a number of alleged violations against the longtime Tracy businessman.
Salmon said Monday that he would not appeal the decision to the District Court.
“I think the council proved their lack of integrity as a whole — not all of them — but especially the mayor, as he ran what was supposed to be an impartial hearing,” Salmon said. “Anybody who was at that meeting, or watched that meeting on YouTube, would recognize very easily that there was no impartiality at that meeting whatsoever, which proves again, the witch hunt that took place.”
Wednesday’s public hearing was a result of an investigation into Salmon after a written complaint was made against him by roofer Jamie Mattson, who was hired by Salmon to repair the roof of his automotive business on the highway earlier this year.
Salmon’s removal was based on the following charges: violation of the Open Meeting Law; violation of Committee Member Codes of Conduct; violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act; and violation of City Code 2.30, subdivisions 2, 3 and 5.
After lengthy debate that included testimony from Tracy City Administrator Kris Ambuehl, Tracy EDA Director Jeff Carpenter and Salmon himself, the council was tasked with voting on whether or not each charge could be substantiated. City Attorney Matthew Gross and Salmon’s attorney, Kevin Stroup both questioned each. The council members were each able to look at various exhibits regarding the case; the council chose to view the documents after all testimony was given.
The council’s deliberations took place in public, before Salmon and all those in attendance at the hearing.
To the matter of Salmon holding non-public serial meetings, the council voted 3-1 against him, with Jeri Schons, Kou Thao and Tracy Mayor Anthony Dimmers supporting the allegation and Dave Tiegs voting no. For the violation of Committee Member Codes of Conduct, the council supported the allegations with the identical roll call.
The council sided with Salmon on three separate allegations of violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, believing the facts against him were not substantiated and that ultimately the violation did not have merit.
The council’s votes against Salmon concerning city code violations were mixed.
See this week’s Headlight Herald for more on this article.