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Arlington Mayor Faces Inappropriate Comment Allegation

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Bud Gillett
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ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – An unidentified City of Arlington employee has filed an ethics complaint against Mayor Robert Cluck. The complaint centers on an incident that allegedly occurred in the office of city councilman Robert Rivera on February 7.

The complaint of misconduct or inappropriate behavior was filed on February 27.

In the report the unidentified person stated -

“The Mayor was talking to Councilman Robert Rivera in Mr. Rivera’s office with Fire Department employee David Crow also in his office when Mr. Rivera stated he was going to a conference in D.C. later that day. Mr. Rivera indicated it was a meeting of Latino leaders and Mayor Cluck said, “Oh a bunch of Mexicans.” Mr. Crow said, “I don’t think you can say that. The Mayor said, “What? Mexican?” The Mayor then left the office. The door to Mr. Rivera’s office was open and they were talking very loud when this happened.”

In a phone interview from Washington, D.C., Monday morning, Councilman Rivera said he is not the person who filed the complaint but considers the matter a workplace issue.

In a prepared statement, he told CBS 11 News reporter Bud Gillett, “What is most important is the integrity of the workplace for city employees. It is unfortunate that any employee heard the comments and was offended. This will not be a distraction to the focus of making Arlington a greater city.”

The complaint will be investigated by the Arlington City Manager’s Office.

Cluck released a letter Monday afternoon addressing the allegations:

Dear Friends,

Recently in a brief conversation with City Councilman Rivera I mentioned to him someone in the second floor council chambers had told me he would not be at the evening meeting, and that person thought he was having dinner at a Mexican Restaurant with a group.  So I asked Robert, but I do not remember his response.

Since then there have been suggestions that I mentioned “bunches of Mexicans” at the meeting.  I do not remember using a statement like that.  All of this conversation occurred in public outside of our offices, with other individuals within hearing distance.

The most important issue, however, is that someone was disturbed by my comments.  I offer my sincere apologies to those I have or might have offended by any comments that I might have made.  Of course those apologies extend to Councilmember Robert Rivera, who is an excellent public servant.

It is time to move on with city business.  After nine years as mayor preceded by four years on the city council, I hope it is clear that I have been and continue to be color blind, and that I welcome and encourage diversity in our city.

Sincerely,

Mayor Robert Cluck

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