|Councilman Defusco's text to Karen Nason during the 4/5/17 City Council meeting. Nason was seated in the public section at 7:18 PM.|
Folks, I understand that Hoboken City Council members sometimes send and receive electronic communications during council meetings. There are no rules against it. But...
What about a Councilperson taunting a member of the public who is present in the Council chamber?
Last Wednesday night, Councilman DeFusco sent this message to Karen Nason during a presentation of the Southwest Traffic Study:
"There were women present [at his LGBTQ fundraiser], both gay and straight, but as a mayoral candidate I didn't notice you there."Nason did not provoke this communication nor respond to it.
While GA may find such unprovoked behavior 'wrong', the conduct may have violated Hoboken's "Executive Order to Ban Workplace Violence, Harassment and Incivility", signed by Mayor Zimmer on February 10 2011.
Defining "misconduct" includes written communications which "may be offensive to another."
The only reason GA knows about this is because Councilman DeFusco's text was "offensive to another"- Ms. Nason.
To say that DeFusco's text upset Nason is an understatement.
Specifically, the implication that she was not supportive of the LGBTQ community because she didn't attend his LGBTQ fundraiser. Here's why, in her own words.
|Karen Nason in 1999 at her brother Scott's "symbolic wedding" to Mickey in Hawaii. Scott and Mickey were legally married in 2004, one Boston's first same-sex marriages after it was legalized in Massachusetts.|
"Mike, while I am sitting there last night sends me a text to my phone "There were woman present,both gay and straight, but as a mayoral candidate I didn't notice you there" Seriously? First Nancy he never invited me and it was up then it was down then back up... who the hell knew. Like I am going to answer him... by the way my brother Scott is gay and came out years and years ago. I stood up for him at his wedding in Hawaii, I stood up for him in Boston where he was living. My brother has been married for 32 years to the same man my brother-in-law Mickey, and Scott would eat Mike up for breakfast. He cant stand when men like Mike use the gay card!! I will try to get my brother here from Florida to first fundraiser. He is really pissed that Mike sent me this text as he, more than anyone knows how many events I did in concert for Gay rights. I dealt a lifetime of having five brother's growing up in Maine and having four of them straight all of us popular and as a cheerleader used to defend my Gay brother with all the [expletives] who gave Scott shit. Scott would love to talk to Mike about how much men like Scott hate when guys like him pull that gay card bullshit. I am 53 years old and Scott 55. I fought more for their rights than anyone and this was in a time where this was really fucked up. How dare he challenge me on that one. How dare he. Nancy these guys around Mike have people call me to "drop out and let him run" all the time."
That's in her own words.
GA can synopsize: Nason's had a lifetime of protecting her gay brother-who was bullied as a kid, grew up and couldn't marry the love of his life, and throughout the years, the loving sister supported her brother's fight for civil rights and the rights of the LGBTQ community.
No, DeFusco's text did not sit well with her.
It struck a profoundly deep and personal nerve. I would call it, by definition of the 2011 Executive Order "workplace misconduct."
GA's observation: the alleged pressure to "drop out and let him run" (of the mayoral race) is having the opposite effect on her.