ST. CLOUD (WJON News) -- Tempers flared again at the end of Monday night's City Council meeting.

During the open discussion portion of the meeting, Councilor Mike Conway read a prepared statement about the censure motion that was taken off of the last agenda two weeks ago. He says he was planning to discuss a censure of fellow council members George Hontos and Karen Larson for violations of the open meeting law.

I believe a violation of open meeting law was not limited solely to two members, nor was it an isolated incident.  Therefore, it's my responsibility as a member of this council to report any illegal or wrong actions as stipulated by our own ethics policies.

Conway wants a review of all communications of all council members going back to the beginning of this year.

Hontos responded that any correspondence he had was about procedure and helping new member Larson understand how the council works.

It had nothing to do with any citizen, with any project, with any developer.  The point is who was aggrieved, who was harmed, in this apparent violation of the open meeting law, nobody.

Council President Jeff Goerger says he was disappointed the issue wasn't handled at the last meeting.

So for five people on their own, in one of the quickest votes this council has ever taken, with no discussion and no advanced knowledge of what they were voting on, five people voted no. That stinks to high heaven in my opinion.

Councilwoman Carol Lewis made the motion two weeks ago to table the censures indefinitely. She says the five who voted in favor of that motion did not discuss it ahead of time.

If you were going to talk about censuring somebody you need to give us some background information, you need to tell us who it is about, and we had no idea.  That's why it went down.

Council members did bring up previous censure attempts by council members, which also included just the word censure on the agenda with no explanation.

Larson has alleged she wasn't given the proper orientation material, a claim City Administrator Matt Staehling disputed several times during Monday night's meeting.

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It wasn't clear during Monday night's meeting what an investigation into the violations might look light. It could be the county attorney's office or a city attorney from another city that would lead an investigation.


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