Harris issues public apology

By Laura McVicker, Columbian staff writer

Published:

 

Apology

Press Release

From Councilmember Jeanne Harris

City of Vancouver

For Immediate Release

In every life there are things that happen that you wish didn’t and Monday night’s council meeting during citizen’s communications I behaved in a manner that is not normal for me.

I want to publically apologize to the citizen’s that attended citizen’s communications, the citizen’s of Vancouver and to the mayor and city council and specifically to Councilmember Jeanne Stewart for any actions on my part that were disrespectful and inappropriate.

I have not been asked to do this; I know that I was not being my usual self and recognize that I have disappointed not only myself but many others as well. The best thing I can do is learn from this experience and always try to do my very best for the citizen’s of Vancouver.

I appreciate the support and confidence that you have shown me in the past and will work hard to rebuild your trust in me in the future.

photoJeanne Harris

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— Vancouver City Councilor Jeanne Harris issued an apology this morning to councilors, the mayor and the public for losing her cool during Monday's city council meeting when she yelled at a councilor and later stormed out.

"I have not been asked to do this; I know that I was not being my usual self and recognize that I have disappointed not only myself but many others as well," Harris said in her statement.

"I appreciate the support and confidence that you have shown me in the past and will work hard to rebuild your trust in me in the future," she added.

Meanwhile, Harris says she wasn't personally informed of an ethics complaint against her before councilors sent out a press release to the media late Tuesday afternoon.

Harris said in an e-mail to council that she learned about the complaint from a voice mail message from a Columbian reporter later that evening.

"This is rash and uncalled for," she wrote. "Especially to send out a press release without talking to me first and hearing my side of the story...I take this allegation as a very serious matter and yet no one had the courtesy to call me?"

In her e-mail, Harris asked the council to drop the complaint. She also asked for an apology and said she won't be at the Sept. 20 meeting, when the council is supposed to decide on whether to form an ethics committee to investigate the complaint. She said that she will be at a fellowship.

Two councilors, Larry Smith and Jack Burkman, requested a review of Harris following an explosive Monday night meeting when Harris yelled at Councilor Jeanne Stewart. They said she violated the council's ethic to treat other councilors with respect and dignity.

Harris says she wasn't treated with respect and dignity.

"There are many forms of disrespect and I consider this one of them," she wrote.

Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt wasn't immediately available this morning to respond to Harris' letter.