Carson City Council censures ‘abusive’ City Clerk Jim Dear. Unable to fire Carson’s “hostile, antagonistic” city clerk, the City Council voted early Wednesday morning to censure Jim Dear, limit his access to City Hall and bar him from serving on any commissions or committees in the wake of an investigation finding he spewed racial insults and instilled fear in the City Hall workforce.
It was the first time in Carson’s history that its leaders have publicly rebuked an elected official with a formal censure.
Council members also directed the staff to research the possibility of reducing Dear’s hours and $130,000 annual pay, since he is not a professional clerk and cannot perform many of the day-to-day functions of the office. All procedural work is directed to Deputy City Clerk Wanda Higaki and other staff members.
Dear didn’t attend the eight-hour censure hearing that began Tuesday night and ended early Wednesday. Instead, he sent a message through his attorney, Bradley Hertz, that he was “protesting the proceedings” and refused to dignify the employees’ claims with his presence.
Twenty current and former employees have given statements since Aug. 27 alleging increasingly intimidating and racist comments and actions by Dear. Several of them made tearful pleas for protection to the council on Tuesday.
Summaries of their interviews were publicly released in a report and supplemental report on the city’s website. In response to the accusations, the City Council last month relocated the clerk’s staff members to another office for their protection, directed Dear to cease communicating with employees directly and scheduled Tuesday’s censure hearing to discuss his unsettling behavior since he was elected to the clerk’s position in March after 11 years as mayor.