Myrna De Vera Regrets "Poor Judgment"

The Hercules City Councilwoman says she did not attempt to stifle free speech by speaking to a Pinole official about a Patch commenter.

Public officials in Hercules and Pinole may have attempted to silence a citizen commenting on Patch by contacting his employer, according to emails obtained by the Contra Costa Times. 

In June, Hercules city councilwoman Myrna de Vera contacted Pinole city engineer Dean Allison about comments made on Patch by Kent Von Aspern who works at HDR Engineering. The company has an $800,000 design contract for the Pinole-Hercules sewage treatment plant. While De Vera denies she asked Allison to silence Von Aspern, Allison sent this email to De Vera on July 3: "I spoke with the VP for HDR about Kent's postings on the Patch. I was told that discussions were made and we should not be seeing any future postings."

In an email to Patch sent Monday evening, De Vera regretted contacting Allison. 

The Time’s “Meaning of Free Speech Subject to Debate in Hercules,” exposed an action I am ashamed of and deeply regret. I would like  to express my apology to Mr. Von Aspern, HDR, to the City of Pinole, the Pinole-Hercules Waste Water Subcommittee, to the City of Hercules, and to my supporters for my actions regarding Mr. Von Aspern. 

I admit the incident was an act of poor judgment on my part.  I reacted inappropriately to a citizen's comment posted on a blog by contacting a Pinole official on two occasions. Even though I did not tell the Pinole official to silence the citizen, and the Pinole city official did not direct HDR to do the same, and there is no evidence HDR forced Mr. Von Aspern to stop blogging, my actions have caused the perception of a concerted effort to stifle a citizen’s free speech rights. 

And that was very wrong.

I take responsibility for my mistake, and I humbly apologize to those I may have inadvertently hurt.  

Giorgio C. October 06, 2012 at 03:08 PM
Glenn, You said my comments about the Legal Ad Hoc committee were libelous. My comment about the legal ad hoc committee was in reference to the vice-chair's many public comments, which were labeled as "defamatory" or "possibly defamatory" by Councilman Wilkins. This was not libelous. This was a fact. I responded to what I observed. The vice-chair now acknowledges that Lochner should not have referred to her as the committee vice-chair, but instead as a citizen. She (or the council liaisons) should have made the effort to correct him. It is easy to have the CC Times edit an article before it goes to paper print. So why was this never corrected? Did Toni or Councilwoman De Vera or anyone contact Lochner and ask him to edit the article? Nope. The comments stood as those of the committee vice-chair. I back what I said. What I observed was based on fact. The council liaisons to the committee share responsibility for this and what did they do about it? Nothing.
Giorgio C. October 06, 2012 at 03:12 PM
Also, if the comments of the vice-chair were seen as comments of the Legal Ad Hoc committee (not as a citizen), then one could make a case that the committee was interfering with the City Manager's appointment process as Councilwoman De Vera had been warned not to do. Such interference is prohibited by law.
Glenn Abraham October 06, 2012 at 03:16 PM
Another point: all of your lies about Myrna defending me, against anyone, are just that: lies. When people like you and von Aspern spray your napalm on me, she just lets me burn. Myrna's action against von Aspern was the result of his backhanded slap at HER, on 6/15/12; she did NOT take action against von Aspern because of me...she just dragged my name into it in the second phase of her own, very personal action. Your entire fantasy of me as some kind of enforcer for Myrna is pure fiction. She doesn’t defend me, and I won’t defend her. I will, though, dissect any future lies, about her or anyone, that you try to spread on the Patch. So, if you're thinking that I won't litigate your libels against others: you're probably right. If I personally did not suffer harm, I would have no cause of action, That does NOT mean that I will continue to let you get away with lying on the Patch. You have spread far too much disinformation. As for litigation: you had better be very careful in what you say about ME. You have a longstanding pattern: you start out with mild outrages, and then keep testing the environment, intensifying your awfulness, until you finally go too far, and get slapped back down...and then you start the whole process all over again. We are NOT going to do this again, ever. This is a public forum for publicly-traded information, not a therapy group for your delusions. Deal with them in a more appropriate venue.
Giorgio C. October 06, 2012 at 03:32 PM
The following sums it up best: Look at who Councilwoman De Vera chose to defend. Look who she she chose not defend. Look at who she attempted to silence. Look at who she did not attempt to silence. I rest my case.
Toni Leance October 06, 2012 at 08:21 PM
Giorgio you are ignorant. There is a line between the council and the city manager in our form of governance but that doesn't mean citizens can't complain or speak out about the actions of the city manager. That is criticism not interference


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