BEND, OR -- While Bend City Councilor Russell and Deschutes County D.A. Hummel call on Nathan Boddie to step down, following allegations he inappropriately touched a woman at a bar in 2012, there is no indication he will do so. Dr. Boddie has, so far, not returned our request for comment on this latest allegation. Two weeks ago, when a Portland political action committee accused him of making sexist of homophobic comments, Boddie told KBND News he had no intention of stepping back from his House campaign.
Bend City Manager Eric King says it’s too early to know how these new allegations will impact the City Council, "I’m assuming that there will be a discussion about this at the July 18th meeting, as I think that that seems somewhat inevitable that there will be some questions. But, I couldn’t tell you anything more than that." And, he says the City Council can’t force out a sitting member, "Councilors can censure each other, and that basically amounts to a public reprimand; that can be done at a Council meeting. There’s no authority that that has - unless someone has committed a crime, [and] there’s some specific things that would have to take place."
The city charter has just two ways for a sitting Councilor to leave mid-term, "A recall vote or the person just voluntarily resigning," says King. And, If Boddie does step down, "The Council would have 30 days to fill a vacant position, if there was a resignation. If Council is unable to fill that position in 30 days, then voters would decide in the next intervening election." That next election would be in November. Boddie chose not to seek re-election this year, opting instead to run for the Legislature, so his seat was already up for grabs.
King admits this is a rare situation for the city to be considering. Mid-term vacancies have only occurred twice in recent memory, and neither involved such controversial circumstances. Bill Friedman passed away in 2008, while in office; and in 2007 then City Councilor John Hummel resigned to join the Peace Corps.