Zima: ‘She’s not going to turn me into a politically-correct wimp’

Published: Jan. 11, 2018 at 6:38 PM CST
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Alderman Guy Zima is not apologizing for the things he’s said after a complaint outlines behavior Alderwoman Barb Dorff alleges violates an ethical standard set for Green Bay City Council members.

In her complaint filed Wednesday night, Dorff pulled quotes from Zima at city hall meetings in the last year—and says how his statements were in violation of six sections of the City of Green Bay, Wisconsin, Code of Conduct for Elected Officials.

Action 2 News found some of the clips Dorff references in the complaint. Examples include a Protection and Welfare committee meeting where Zima interrupts and questions the character of the Madrid restaurant owner, saying, “I’m just speaking to the character of the person asking,” and then saying the owner’s comments were “out of the mouths of babes.”

Dorff says Zima demeaned employees during common council meetings, saying “it’s time to go back to school” about the city attorney and calling City of Green Bay Economic Development Director Kevin Vonck “Dr. Yahoo.”

Zima also called Mayor Schmitt a weasel, and is unapologetic, telling Action 2 News he would do it again.

“Hey, the truth is the truth! He does weasel. He's up there weaseling! He doesn't answer questions directly sometimes,” said Zima about the mayor.

On Vonck, Zima said, “Doctor Yahoo sings a different tune every other week! Was that a little disrespectful? Well, I think he's disrespectful.”

"[Dorff] can file all the charges she wants, but she'll not turn me into a politically correct wimp. Guy Zima's got 42 years of experience. And the truth is, I wouldn't change 99 percent of all the things I've said over all the years I've been in office,” said Zima Thursday evening.

Most aldermen would not comment on the complaint, but Randy Scannell said, “It’s about time.”

“It raises a lot of concerns! I think this is something to be aired out one way or another. I'm not sure what the ethics committee will do, but I think these are all things that kind of went into the code of conduct in a sense that when we worked on the code of conduct, we knew there were behaviors that we were concerned about and we wanted to correct,” said Scannell, who was censured by the ethics committee for poking another alderman in the chest and using swear words.

Scannell says the council notices outbursts and behavioral issues, but out of necessity has to move on. "You know it's kind of like a quarterback: If you throw an interception, it's gone. You gotta worry about the next thing coming up,” said Scannell.

Alderman Bill Galvin is on the ethics committee and says the committee will act as a jury— with Zima and Dorff on either side. “[The code of ethics] was designed to hold city employees including elected officials more accountable for their actions,” said Galvin.

The hearing will take place in the next 45 days.