GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt says comparing Alderman Guy Zima to accused rapist and harasser Harvey Weinstein was a "mistake." The mayor issued a statement Wednesday afternoon, a day after Alderman Joe Moore called him out, along with Zima, about their long, public feud.
Mayor Jim Schmitt city council meeting (WBAY file photo)
Yesterday during an interview, I was asked about the complaints filed against Guy Zima. I shouldn’t have compared him to anyone; that was my mistake. I’ve long had differences with Guy Zima, and these differences should be handled in a professional manner.
Public records show that the City of Green Bay has four documented incidents involving four different women that show a disturbing pattern of behavior ranging from sexual harassment to death threats. I believe our employees, and I feel a responsibility to protect all employees. As Mayor, it is my job to promote a culture of respect, where people don’t feel threatened, harassed or disrespected, and I’ll continue to lead the city in that direction.
Action 2 News has reached out to the mayor, Zima and Moore for additional comment Wednesday.
Green Bay's city council meeting started anything but routine Tuesday night, as a city council member tore into Mayor Jim Schmitt and fellow Alderman Guy Zima.
Zima was absent from the meeting , for reasons that weren't clear. It's the first council meeting since complaints became public last week that Zima asked a city employee if she made a recording of her wedding night and it was learned he's required not to meet with city employees alone.
In an impassioned statement, Alderman Joe Moore brought up the long-standing feud between the mayor and Zima, calling it a "Dumpster fire."
"Mayor, you have described some members of this council as being evil and having mental issues, but today you called out an alder in particular and compared him to a physically abusive serial rapist," Moore said, referring to an interview in which Schmitt compared Zima to disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.
"You have not been able to let the actions of Alder Zima speak for himself without getting in every dig you possibly can at every opportunity you have," Moore went on. "Nothing you have done has given me reason you should be removed from office, but it has made me question how effective you are as the leader of this city."
"As for Alderman Zima, I sincerely hope he will consider leaving office on his own free will and submit his notice of non-candidacy for 2018.
"I don't believe either of you should consider yourselves a single rung above the other. Your actions steal attention away from the issues. They are a hindrance to conducting efficient business in Green Bay," Moore said.
Moore hopes everyone's focus Tuesday night is on the Shipyard project, to develop homes, office space, restaurants, and sports and entertainment venues on Broadway.
"I hope we all -- mayor, council and staff -- can show some level of cooperation as we make an historical vote regarding the future of the city," Moore concluded.
Moore's statement received scant applause in the gallery.
Action 2 News reporter Brittany Schmidt is covering the city council meeting and has an update on Action 2 News at Ten.