Contra Costa Assessor Censured by County Supervisors

The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to censure County Assessor Gus Kramer for alleged inappropriate behavior towards two women in his department. The Board is also calling on the grand jury to look into the allegations against him.

Tuesday’s vote was 4-0, with Supervisor John Gioia absent. Kramer did not attend. Instead, he sent his attorney Bruce Zelis who asked for the meeting to be postponed.

Zelis says he believes the Board may have violated open meetings laws because the idea of the censure first came up behind closed doors. The county countered that the findings of an investigation into Kramer’s actions were presented in closed session but that they did not discuss the item with each other prior to Tuesday’s meeting.

Zelis also argued Tuesday that the Board doesn’t have the authority to censure Kramer, an elected official. County Counsel Sharon Anderson argued otherwise, stating that Kramer “is an officer of the county and by statute, the Board of Supervisors has some supervisory responsibility over officers, which is why it’s appropriate for the board to consider this action.”

Kramer is accused of making sexually-charged comments to female subordinates on several occasions between 2008 and 2015. The comments include an alleged discussion about sex toys he had purchased for another woman.

Kramer has denied the allegations of sexual harassment and expressed "disappointment" at Tuesday's decision.

“The independent investigator determined that many of the allegations were unfounded,” Kramer claims, adding that “the independent investigator also determined in June of this year that there was no Sexual harassment and there has been no retaliation.”

“I’m disappointed about the actions of the Board of Supervisors this morning… they never talked to me about the issue and I believe they made a decision based on inaccurate and incomplete information reported in the local media.”


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