Update: Commissioner Kicinski censured after altercation with city employee | The Butner-Creedmoor News
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Update: Commissioner Kicinski censured after altercation with city employee

Posted on March 12, 2021

Updated on March 19, 2021

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Creedmoor Commissioner Georgana Kicinski delivers remarks during a welcome luncheon for new City Manager Gerald Smith on Monday, March 8. Kicinski was censured by the Board of Commissioners two days later in response to a previous incident between her and a city employee.

Amanda Dixon | Butner-Creedmoor News file

Creedmoor Commissioner Georgana Kicinski delivers remarks during a welcome luncheon for new City Manager Gerald Smith on Monday, March 8. Kicinski was censured by the Board of Commissioners two days later in response to a previous incident between her and a city employee.

editor@butnercreedmoornews.com

Genesis Wallace

Contributed photo

Genesis Wallace

Creedmoor Commissioner Georgana Kicinski

Contributed photo

Creedmoor Commissioner Georgana Kicinski

Genesis Wallace

Contributed photo

Genesis Wallace

Creedmoor Commissioner Georgana Kicinski

Contributed photo

Creedmoor Commissioner Georgana Kicinski

CREEDMOOR — Commissioner Georgana Kicinski was censured and had her access to City Hall restricted a week after she angrily confronted a city employee and was asked to leave City Hall by police.

The Creedmoor Board of Commissioners voted Wednesday, March 10, in a special meeting to censure Kicinski. She remains on the board.

According to a report from the Creedmoor Police Department, on Wednesday, March 3, Kicinski arrived at City Hall and told city staff to call the police chief or 911 “because she was about to have an issue” with one of the employees, administrative services director Genesis Wallace.

Police Chief Keith King responded to Wallace’s office and heard Kicinski yelling at Wallace, his report states. Kicinski’s comments were laced with profanity and Kicinski was pointing at Wallace, who had backed into a corner of the room and placed a chair between her and Kicinski.

“Who the f--- do you think you are? Who are you? How dare you?” the report quotes Kicinski as yelling at Wallace. “If I was your f---ing boss, I would have fired your f---ing ass a long time ago.”

Chief King writes that he placed himself between Kicinski and Wallace and had to ask Kicinski multiple times to leave the building.

“I informed G. Kicinski a confrontation like what just occurred was not acceptable and should never occur,” King writes in the report.

No charges were filed. Kicinski did not touch or injure Wallace, but Wallace was given information on how to file a restraining order, the report states.

Wallace told the police chief that she “did not feel safe” and that she had also been harassed previously by interim City Manager Mike Turner, the report shows. The employee asked Chief King to walk them to their car.

Kicinski is a Republican who is serving her first term on the board after her election in 2019. Her current term ends in 2023.

Kicinski declined to comment Friday, saying her attorney has advised her not to talk before a March 23 court hearing regarding the restraining order application.

Wallace, who was hired by the city last year, did not respond to an email seeking comment. It remains unclear what the confrontation between Wallace and Kicinski was regarding. Wallace had worked extensively on the city’s purchasing and inclusion policies, which were recently updated with more specific language about race, gender and representation.

Kimberly Muktarian, president of SOS Consulting Firm in Raleigh, said she was contacted by a third party about the incident shortly after it happened. Muktarian said she spoke to Wallace and gave her advice about her next steps, but indicated that Wallace was not prepared to talk publicly about what happened.

“Ms. Wallace has shared quite a bit of her trauma with our firm and due to the current nature of most institutions wishes to reserve much of her concerns for fear of retaliation of which the altercation transpired from,” Muktarian said. “She understands that while diversity is a growing trend and necessity among various municipalities and agencies, it has become quite clear where those boundaries are. The spoken yet unspoken demands to stay in her place is what compelled this matter out of control.”

Muktarian said Kicinski should be made to take anger management classes. Muktarian said she found it disturbing Kicinski thought to ask the police to arrive, which she said shows Kicinski felt entitled to have police back her up; however, Muktarian said Chief King showed professionalism, and she praised him for his handling of the situation.

“Until this matter is resolved, Ms. Kicinksi should not be allowed to serve the general public in any capacity,” Muktarian said. “Kicinski’s behaviors revealed not only that her anger should be managed but that she felt entitled to have law enforcement protect, serve and assist her even while she addressed a city employee without authority, maliciously and without wanton.”

Muktarian also questioned why it took the city and board of commissioners 10 days to publicly respond to the incident.

Board vote unanimous

The motion to censure Kicinski was made by Mayor Pro Tem Neena Nowell during the special meeting of commissioners the week after the incident. The vote was unanimous, with Kicinski voting in favor of her own censure.

Kicinski did not speak publicly at the meeting other than to vote.

The censure is a public condemnation of Kicinski’s actions, officials said. It does not affect her rights or voting privileges as an elected official.

The motion also restricted Kicinski’s access to City Hall. She can only be inside the building to attend public meetings or when she has an appointment with the city manager.

The city released a statement about the censure vote Friday morning, noting that discussion of Wallace’s complaint was made in a closed session of the board on Wednesday. The censure vote was made in open session.

“The Mayor and Board of Commissioners accepted Commissioner Kicinski’s apology and statement of regret for her actions and affirmed their belief in her statement that an incident like this would never reoccur,” the city said in its statement. The statement did not name Wallace.

“It was also made clear to Commissioner Kicinski that while the Mayor and Board have the highest respect for her personally and for her service to the City of Creedmoor, the interaction she had with a City employee was not appropriate for a person in her position, and another incident of this nature would not be tolerated.

“The Mayor and Board of Commissioners recognize that as elected officials they are held to a higher standard, and the citizens of Creedmoor must be confident in the ability of government officials to comport themselves with the utmost integrity. Commissioner Kicinski was encouraged to use this as an opportunity for learning, introspection, and self-assessment to make her an even better representative for her constituents.”

Many commissioners gave public remarks after the closed session, before the censure vote.

“I appreciate, Commissioner Kicinski, your apology but there needs to be some sort of consequences taken because of the incident,” Nowell said.

Nowell and others who spoke, including Commissioners Del Mims and Kechia Brustmeyer-Brown, also told Kicinski they were glad with the work she had done in the past with the city, and want to keep her active in city policy.

“No one person on this board can act without impunity, even in a case where there might be a lapse of judgement,” Del Mims said. “We have a responsibility to our citizens and to one another and for that reason I commend Commissioner Kicinski for all she has done in service to the public and in this community that we reside in. But I also find it necessary to ask that she be put in a position where the full measure and force of our obligation be brought to bear.”

Brustmeyer-Brown asked Kicinski to reflect on her actions and find ways to mitigate the harm she did and prevent future incidents. Commissioner Ed Mims said Kicinski has shown a habit of reacting quickly to things, then quickly apologizing for her actions afterward.

“I encourage you to do a self assessment in how you can make Georgana Kicinski even a better person than we know,” Ed Mims said.

Mayor Bobby Wheeler agreed, saying actions have consequences.

“There have been incidents where, as my mother use to tell me, my mouth got five minutes ahead of my brain,” Wheeler said about Kicinski’s behavior. “What we want you to do is slow up one so the other can catch up.”

When the city announced the special session of the commissioners, it described it as an entirely closed session. The Butner-Creedmoor News obtained a copy of the video of the open session portion of the meeting on Friday.

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