Tom Campenni: Former Stuart mayor will keep committee positions, pressured to sign code of ethics

Former Stuart Mayor Tom Campenni will keep his seat on several committees despite the findings of an investigation into his behavior around city employees.

Commissioners voted Monday to allow Campenni to still serve on two of three committees. He resigned in May following an age discrimination complaint.

Following that complaint, the city voted to hire an outside investigator to look into Campenni’s past.

The investigator wrote a report, released last week, stating Campenni offended employees, threatened to get some fired, and ordered employees to do work they are not authorized to do.

“I was and still am outraged by this,” said Vice Mayor Kelli Glass- Leighton. “Insulting their abilities, insulting their intelligence, intimidating and even cursing at them. Such behavior is despicable. Indefensible,” Glass-Leighton said.

“The City of Stuart has, by far, some of the best people working for them that I’ve ever seen,” said Mayor Troy McDonald.

Campenni did not comment on the report or its findings with Commissioners Monday, though his attorney has sent a letter to the city claiming the report is flawed.

Glass-Leighton is now calling on Campenni to promise he will be more ethical in the future.

“I do believe forgiveness can be extended when the person who committed the wrong actually accepts responsibility,” Glass-Leighton said.

She says Campenni is the only commissioner who has not signed a new code of ethics for commissioners, created after former Mayor Eula Clarke was investigated.

“If you cannot make this commitment, or do not plan to make this commitment, then I would ask that you step down as a city commissioner,” Glass-Leighton said.

A commissioner can not be removed from office by other commissioners. Only the governor can have an elected official ousted from office. City residents can also petition to have a commissioner removed through a recall election.

Campenni did not say why he would not sign the code of ethics.

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