San Bernardino City Council votes to censure Kimberly Calvin

Calvin was the subject of an investigation that alleges she leaked confidential information about candidates for city manager

San Bernardino City Council votes to censure Kimberly Calvin
Photo Courtesy of Kimberly Calvin's Facebook page

San Bernardino’s City Council on Wednesday night voted to censure councilwoman Kimberly Calvin, whose alleged leaking of sensitive information was the subject of an internal investigation.

The vote was 4-3 with council members Calvin and Councilmembers Damon Alexander and Ben Reynoso voting no.

The investigation – released right before the council meeting  –  claims Calvin leaked confidential information that sabotaged the city’s search for a new city manager. The city hired private Laguna Niguel based firm JL Group LLC to lead the investigation. 

“The synthesis of this information, combined with credible evidence from various sources, establishes that the preponderance of credible evidence overwhelmingly points to CM Calvin as the originator of the closed-session leaks,” reads the investigation’s executive summary.

In remarks to the Council and the public, Calvin pushed back against the allegations.

“This censure that has been brought forth is absolutely false,” said Calvin. “They can't even get their own timelines and narrative straight.”

Investigators allege that Calvin used “surrogates” to share information online and through news sources. 

The investigation points out that the city’s first top candidate withdrew their interest for the position when someone tipped off news about their candidacy to a coworker.

The second candidate, former Salinas City Manager Steve Carrigan, was selected as the city’s second choice last September. But after some backlash from the public, he withdrew himself from the running.

The investigation found that Calvin had prematurely leaked closed session information about Carrigan’s employment offer. Carrigan says it’s the city’s fault he was fired by the City of Salinas and is now seeking $2 million in damages.

Charles Montoya, the third choice candidate, was appointed as city manager in October. 

Some members of the public shared that Calvin is being targeted for being a whistleblower.

“You’re trying to disenfranchise her for raising the red flags,” said Sarah Robles. “There’s other people who need to be censured, and it’s not Ms. Calvin. If we’re going to bring this forward, we should bring claims of censure for other people.”

But Councilman Teddy Sanchez says he vehemently disagrees. 

“And I could go ahead and give a long speech. But I'm not going to,” he said. “I think most of us up here know what really happened.”

Calvin lost her reelection bid in March. Her term ends in December.