LOCAL NEWS

Seattle Mayor calls on council to investigate, possibly expel Sawant

Jun 30, 2020, 11:08 AM
Jenny Durkan, Kshama Sawant...
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and Councilmember Kshama Sawant (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan issued a letter Tuesday calling on city councilmembers to open an investigation into Kshama Sawant, and possibly expel her from the dais.

Kshama Sawant calls out Seattle Mayor Durkan after riot

Durkan points to what she labels “disorderly or otherwise contemptuous behavior” from Councilmember Sawant. In the letter directly addressed to Council President Lorena Gonzalez, she cites a handful of specific incidents.

That includes:

  • Allegations that Sawant violated City hiring rules by giving decision-making authority to Socialist Alternative, a complaint dating back to late-2018/early-2019
  • Charges filed in early February by the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission accusing Sawant of using her position and resources as a city councilmember to promote her “Tax Amazon” campaign
  • Allowing a crowd protesters inside of City Hall in early June
  • Allegations she “encouraged attendants” at a June 28 rally to “illegally ‘occupy’ City Property, the East Precinct, at a time the City has been trying to de-escalate the situation and ask individuals to depart because of violence in the area”
  • Allegations she led a march to Mayor Durkan’s home over the weekend; Durkan’s address is redacted in official documents over threats made against her during her time as a U.S. Attorney

The letter also alleges that Sawant’s followers vandalized Durkan’s home “by spray-painting obscenities,” while asking city council to “fully investigate” Sawant to “determine if action should be taken.”

Sawant and Durkan have clashed over several issues during their time in city government, most recently with Sawant calling on Durkan to resign in the wake of police violence at protests downtown and on Capitol Hill.

Mayor Durkan again at odds with Seattle council over homeless camps

“Disagreements on policy contribute to a robust public debate. However, police disagreements do not justify a Councilmember who potentially uses their position in violation of law or who recklessly undermines the safety of others, all for political theatre,” Durkan states.

Neither Sawant nor the rest of the council have responded to the mayor’s letter yet.

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Seattle Mayor calls on council to investigate, possibly expel Sawant