The Minneapolis City Council found Friday that Council Member Alondra Cano violated the “aspirations” of the city’s ethics code — but simultaneously dismissed an ethics complaint against her.
The unanimous council vote, a rare rebuke of one of their own, put to rest a matter that began last December during a Black Lives Matter protest. Cano, who participated in the protest at the Mall of America, tweeted messages people had sent through the city’s website criticizing her involvement — including their contact information.
The issue escalated last month when Cano, faced with an ethics violation for unauthorized use of city property, threatened to reveal similar activities by her colleagues should they choose to approve the city ethics board’s findings.
The resolution passed by the council Friday found that Cano violated “ethical aspirations” of the city’s ethics code, but “not the substantive rule sections.” Those aspirations include not engaging in retaliation or harassment, as well as not using public property for personal purposes.
Cano declined to address the council before the vote.
The sole comment came from Council Member Blong Yang, who said Cano’s actions appeared retaliatory and that he was disappointed she had “no remorse.”
“Even if we as a council body don’t impose discipline, I would hope that the good folks in Ward 9 will take care of it next year,” Yang said.
Cano represents the Ninth Ward, encompassing neighborhoods surrounding central Lake Street.
The council separately acted Friday to require all employees and elected officials to watch a 10-minute “political activity ethics video.” The video “will provide good refresher training related to the ethical issues of political activity,” according to an accompanying resolution.
But City Clerk Casey Carl said the presence of both items on Friday’s agenda was merely a coincidence. He said it addresses issues like making photocopies, sending e-mails and taking phone calls relating to political issues.
“It’s not at all related. We did this simply because there’s a presidential election coming up,” Carl said.