BRISTOL - The City Council censured Mayor Ken Cockayne Monday night for the second time in two terms for violating the city’s sexual harassment policy, dishonesty and retaliation.
The censure - a formal disapproval of the mayor’s actions by the council - was based on a report conducted by council-appointed attorney Michael Rose.
The council met with Rose and the city’s Freedom of Information attorney Monday night in executive session to discuss the report. It pertained to Cockayne allegedly sharing content about Councilwoman Jodi Zils Gagne’s personal life in May with Councilor David Preleski, a Democrat.
When the executive session concluded, the council unanimously voted to censure the mayor. Zils Gagne recused herself from the vote. Acting Mayor Tony D’Amato then read a resolution publicly.
“The City Council has received a report from attorney Rose. Having to evaluate it on its detailed findings, we hereby resolve to censure Mayor Kenneth B. Cockayne for a violation of the city’s policy prohibiting sexual harassment, for dishonesty in responding to the inquiry; to censure Mayor Kenneth B. Cockayne for retaliatory acts based on perceived political disloyalty; to refer the findings to the city’s ethics commission for further review; to release a redacted copy of attorney Rose’s report having concluded that the report contains certain personal information.
“The disclosure of which would be highly offensive to a reasonable person and that such personal information is not of legitimate concern to the public consistent with all FOI laws. Attorneys are hereby directed to prepare the redacted report by Thursday, Oct. 19,” D’Amato said.
Rose investigated previous claims of sexual harassment and retaliation against the mayor by a city employee. Retaliation was confirmed, which the council censured the mayor for last September.
Lorenzo Burgio can be reached at email@example.com or at 860-973-5088.