CARMEL, Calif. - UPDATE 3/16/18 3:34 p.m.: Carmel Mayor Steve Dallas is apologizing after a recent controversy over inappropriate comments he made.
The mayor released the following statement:
To all in our community: As mayor of Carmel-by-the-Sea, and a long-time resident who loves this city as much as anyone, I would like to offer a sincere and heartfelt apology to everyone for my inappropriate conduct — conduct that led to a months-long investigation and culminated on March 7 with a reprimand from Carmel-by-the-Sea’s three strong women on the city council with whom I serve. As those of you who have followed these events know, I was precluded until now from making any comment related to the ongoing investigation. For that reason, this apology is late in coming, but I hope you will accept it nonetheless.
To the citizens of Carmel-by-the-Sea, and to those individuals I may have hurt or offended, I am truly sorry. Please know my comments were not maliciously uttered, but I admit they were very much ill-considered, insensitive and unprofessional. I am also truly sorry that my family has had to go through this painful time.
Additionally, I apologize to the three remarkable and courageous council members — Carrie Theis, Jan Reimers and Carolyn Hardy — who were put in the eye of the storm by my
comments, and who handled the entire matter for our village with integrity and strength.
I was born and raised in Carmel-by-the-Sea and, like my family, love and honor its special sense of place and spirit. I pledge to work even harder to regain the trust of its citizens and to do my very best for our beloved village. I have learned a painful life lesson from this episode, and pledge to be a better person and a better Mayor.
From the bottom of my heart, I apologize.
Steve G. Dallas, Mayor
It was standing room only in Carmel's city council chambers Wednesday morning.
After a three-month investigation with an estimated $2,5000 price tag, many came to find out whether Mayor Steve Dallas was guilty of sexually harassing women.
"The City of Carmel does not in the opinion of the City Attorney's office have any civil or criminal liability as a result of the allegations made against the city mayor, because based on the law, he did not engage in sexual harassment," City Attorney Glen Mozingo said.
Dallas is cleared on that front, but he's being reprimanded for using language women can find offensive, including telling someone he only dated "attractive women" and calling a woman a term used in the adult film industry.
Another finding has the city concerned. Two witnesses told investigators about an alleged conspiracy to target Dallas.
"(One person) witnessed the fact that an individual from Salinas was brought into the City of Carmel, paid $100 and was told to attack the mayor, while others would photograph that attack, showing that they mayor was involved in some sort of barrom-brawl,” Mozingo said.
Mozingo said the attack was carried out at a restaurant, but a retired cop stopped it.
City council members also urged people to stop spreading what they call rumors and loose accusations.
Some residents said they are ready to move forward.
"I'm very pleased with the council and what they had to say, especially their concluding comments. They are very heartfelt and sincere, and I'm looking forward to seeing things come out in a positive light," resident Marta Cayce said.
But Kim Stemler, one of Dallas' accusers issued this statement saying, "No matter what the City Attorney reports or what the City Council decides, nothing exonerates Dallas from the truth of those who have experienced inappropriate behavior, sexual and physical harassment, threats, voyeurism, rental housing violations, and all the other terrible things that have been reported and those that have not been reported because of fear of retribution by Dallas."
Dallas is expected to make a public apology soon.