The Durant City Council voted to approve the resolution censuring Council member Oden Grube.
The procedure is a way for the governing body to disapprove or not endorse the behavior of a member.
This removes liability from the City Council for the actions of Grube.
Also the censuring procedure means she may not be able to serve on a board.
Durant Mayor Jerry Tomlinson removed her from her position on the Durant Industrial Authority Board.
The Mayor made the original appointment of Grube and he will take her place on the DIA board.
She had a speech prepared in response to the censure resolution.
The City Council authored resolution and the Oden Grube authored speech is printed verbatim here as written.
Grube made the following statement Tuesday evening to the Durant City Council and citizens in attendance:
“Good Evening Fellow Citizens
Oklahoma law places specific and narrow limitations on the actions of Council members for good reason. A person’s freedom of speech can be abridged only in such specific and narrow instances. In this case, Oklahoma law lists three things a Council member may not do. I am not guilty of violating any of the restrictions placed on me as a council member by Oklahoma law.
The allegations listed in the Resolution before us are vague and provide the Citizens of Durant with no specific information such that they could determine for themselves if I am guilty or not. Any Judge in a court of law would require the allegations against me to include the basic information required in a logical argument – Who –What – When and- Where?
I am merely the latest voice that the City is trying to silence, standing behind brave city employees who have lost their jobs, been suspended or demoted. The City Council members sitting beside me have seen emails, listened to the public comments and sat silent. I refuse to do so. The Council and City Manager have fought me from the time I announced I was running for City Council. I have never been given a chance. I believe in transparency and keeping the citizens informed and that includes the right to make public information public and question what is motivating the retaliation against whistle blowers or inquiring into investigations. It also includes the right to question the public expenditures of your money. You entrusted me to bring transparency and accountability and I have fought hard to do this.
The Council can vote to censure me on false and scurrilous allegations and there is nothing I can do about it. City Attorney Marcum told me and my attorney that I was ambushed in the September 12th Executive session, and I survived that, so I will survive this also. So let he who is without Sin cast the first stone, but be assured, I will not stop fighting for the Citizens and questioning what these members and City Manager are sweeping under the rug.
I was elected by you, the Citizens, just like the other members were, and I intend to continue working to make this an even better City.
You, the Citizens, have put your Faith and hope in me, and I promise you tonight, that no matter how rough things may get, I will never ever resign.”
The council voted on the resolution as they would any other city business item.
This resolution was approved by all members of the council, with the exception of Grube. The City Clerk was required to call her name during the vote as she would any other item.
The resolution is enclosed here.
Resolution No. 2017-22
A RESOLUTION OF DURANT CITY COUNCIL DISAPPROVING AND CENSURING CERTAIN ACTIONS OF
COUNCIL MEMBER ODEN GRUBE
WHEREAS, It is essential for the effective governing of the City of Durant for the public to have confidence in the integrity of its local government and its fair, effective, respectful, and courteous operation; and
WHEREAS, Council members are bound to comply with Ordinances of the City of Durant, Oklahoma State Statutes, and the Protocols and Code of Ethics adopted by the City Council; and
WHEREAS, the City Council must ensure that municipal, state, and federal laws and guidelines are followed by its members in all areas and, specifically, as to employer-employee relations; and
WHEREAS, the City Council has both observed and been provided information by third parties indicating Council member Oden Grube has taken actions toward or directly involving city employees that were interpreted as abusive, hostile, or disrespectful; and
WHEREAS, Council member Grube’s actions have had a negative effect on the working environment within the City and has been detrimental to the effective governance of the City; and
WHEREAS, numerous individuals have expressed concerns regarding Council member Grube’s actions including but not limited to employees of the City of Durant, members of various municipal Commissions and Authorities, and members of the public; and
WHEREAS, the specific allegations against Council member Grube are that she has:
1. Conducted meetings with City employees beyond that permitted by an elected official;
2. Publicly released a document outlining several meetings with City employees conducted without the knowledge of City Manager or other administrative staff in which personnel matters were discussed and specific employees were criticized.
3. Utilized social media to criticize City employees including specifically naming certain staff;
4. Acted unprofessional in conducting personal attacks toward City employees both in person and in public and on social media;
5. Confronted City employees, cursing at them and threatening funding of their department(s);
6. Publicly implied individuals were involved in criminal activities including members of the public.
7. Assisted City of Durant employees by coordinating and promoting fake social media accounts in order to post defaming and slanderous comments about other city employees, the City Manager, fellow council members and even their spouses on her Concerned Residents Against Misrepresentation & Misappropriation (CRAMM) Facebook page that she administers.
8. Has fostered and created a workplace environment in which some Durant city employees feel entitled to publicly admonish their supervisors and administration because they feel protected by her authority.
WHEREAS, Durant City Council has an obligation to ensure that no member of the Council contributes to the creation of a potentially hostile work environment for City employees; and
WHEREAS, in response to the allegations set forth herein, the Council met in Executive Session on September 12, 2017, to review the allegations, discuss the legal consequences and potential for litigation to which the actions of Council member Grube expose the City; and
WHEREAS, the Council in Executive Session, Council member Grube present, reviewed this
proposed Resolution; and
WHEREAS, having been made fully aware of the allegations against her, Council member Grube has refused to acknowledge the proper role of a Council member and the conduct associated therewith and to recognize that her actions place the City in a position of potential liability; and
WHEREAS, Council member Grube has had the opportunity to respond in the public portion of the special meeting of the Durant City Council conducted November 7, 2017, prior to the Council’s vote on this Resolution.
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the Durant City Council that the above recitals are true and correct as are incorporated herein as though set forth in full.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Durant City Council finds that Council member Grube in her conduct toward City Staff and members of the public:
1. Has detracted from the orderly, efficient, and fair conduct of City business;
2. Has improperly interacted with City Employees beyond that permitted by an elected official;
3. Has potentially created a hostile work environment by publicly addressing certain departments
and staff as incompetent or in need of termination;
4. Has not served to increase the public confidence in City government;
5. Has not met the standards of conduct this Council requires of its members.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED by the Council that the Resolution serves as a formal statement of
censure disapproving Council member Grube’s conduct as described herein.
PASSED AND ADOPTED this 7th day of November, 2017.
Contact Dan Pennington at (580) 634-2162 or email@example.com