Rochester releases comments regarding censure of councilmember Molly Dennis

Rochester releases comments regarding censure of councilmember Molly Dennis.
Published: Mar. 20, 2023 at 4:50 PM CDT
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – The City of Rochester released information and comments regarding the censure of councilmember Molly Dennis on Monday.

The Rochester City Council adopted a formal censure of Ward 6 council member Molly Dennis at the city council meeting on Monday, March 6, 2023.

The formal censure does not mean removal of Dennis from the council board, but instead, a formal disagreement with her behavior.

Dennis will only be able to attend virtual meetings with the city staff for the remainder of the year due to “unwillingness to respect personal boundaries along with persistent verbal intimidation toward staff and elected officials.”

Below is a statement from Administrator Alison Zelms.

Below are specific examples of items referenced in the March 6, 2023 Censure Resolution.

Below is the July 2022 Dennis Communication Plan.

In addition, Attorney Spindler-Krage provided the following information to the Mayor and City Council on Monday.

The City of Rochester received communications from Council Member Dennis to the City Attorney and other Council Members alleging that the City discriminated and retaliated against her when it censured her on Monday, March 6. Council Member Dennis’s concerns includes allegations against City employees and public officials, as defined by the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act (MGDPA). Under the MGDPA, the existence and status of her concerns are public but all other personnel data is private data on individuals, except as specifically defined in the MGDPA.

The City is committed to providing access to its facilities and services to all Rochester community members and visitors regardless of background, status, or disability, and it takes allegations of discrimination and retaliation seriously.

In response to CM Dennis’ allegations, the City will be engaging an outside investigator to conduct a neutral and independent investigation of CM Dennis’s concerns. I have separately notified CM Dennis regarding the investigation and next steps.

Attorney Spindler-Krage