Skip to Content

Bend councilors censure colleague Nathan Boddie


Bend city councilors formally reprimanded colleague and Oregon House District 54 candidate Nathan Boddie Wednesday evening, on the very day that ballots were mailed for the Nov. 6 election, after the councilor issued an apology but continued to defend his actions and the statements that drew criticism.

The council, with Mayor Casey Roats absent, approved the censure motion brought forward by Councilor Barb Campbell by a 5-0 vote, with one abstention — Boddie’s. Such a reprimand carries no legal weight, and it’s difficult to discern the political impact after months of critical comments about Boddie’s response to a claim of sexual harassment.

Some Bend residents had urged Boddie to step down from the council and end his campaign due to allegations he groped Bend environmental activist Moey Newbold at a bar in 2012.

But those calls widened and he lost support from Democratic leaders after his response to the allegations, in which he claimed his accuser had substance abuse problems and suggested she was aligned with the House Democrats’ political action committee. The PAC had withdrawn support earlier over non-specific claims of sexist and homophobic behavior.

Campbell’s full motion reads:

“The City Council believes that it should support and foster an atmosphere that is welcoming, non-discriminatory, respectful and non-sexist, and open to all viewpoints regardless of whether or not we agree.

“As local leaders, city councilors are expected to model the types of communication and civic engagement we wish to encourage in our community.

“In responding via Facebook posts in an aggressive and personally attacking manner to a complaint of sexual harassment by a female community member who regularly appears before this body, and allegedly engaging in viewpoint discrimination by blocking people or deleting posts on his personal website used, in part, to address City issues and Council business, Councilor Nathan Boddie crossed a line.

“Setting aside the merits of the past claim which is not before this body, the decision to respond as he did was his current choice to make.

“Therefore, the City Council believes that Councilor Nathan Boddie violated the following Council Rules: Council members shall maintain the highest standard of ethical conduct and assurance of fair and equal treatment of all persons coming before council (Rule 1.040); Council members shall conduct themselves so as to bring credit upon the government by respecting the rule of law (Rule (1.050); Council members will not deny access to social media used in an official capacity to any individual based in whole or in part on content or viewpoint (Rule 2.105).

“These rules are all intended to hold Councilors accountable to each other and to the community we serve.

“This action is taken under Rule 2.110 to protect the integrity of Council and discipline the member with a public reprimand. It is not done lightly, but we believe it is important to express the Council’s view of an unacceptable response to a difficult issue and its desire to set a higher standard in Bend.”

After Councilor Bruce Abernethy seconded the motion, Boddie spoke, prefacing his remarks: I’m not going to spend too much time on it, as it’s been reported and reported again.”

“I will say in the current election cycle, it is difficult to defend one’s self. It’s kind of one of those no-win situations.”

“With all sympathy and humility, if I ever did anything to make an individual uncomfortable I was not aware and I apologize.

“However, certainly the actions of that individual over the years has not been one of someone who was uncomfortable coming to council. It was somebody I worked closely with on a lot of projects, who frequently invited me to social situations, in the evening and after council and throughout the years, up until about June.

“I don’t know if it changed in June — I have some suspicion, but that’s kind of outside the scope of this.”

“I think it’s totally reasonable to defend one’s self,” he added.

As for the claim he was blocking or removing comments for a Facebook page, Boddie said it was a page “clearly labeled as a campaign site. I don’t have a council (or) government-related social media presence.”

“I don’t block people unless they are profane or making threats,” he said. “If anyone things I’ve got a lot of glowing reviews on social media, I invite them to look. I do’t take down posts.”

“That’s all I have to say,” he said, adding, I’ll let my colleagues do what they feel is the right thing to do.”

Boddie’s refusal to withdraw from the race prompted many Democrats to endorse Working Families Party candidate Amanda La Bell, who ended her own campaign after it was learned she had false education information in the Voter’s Pamphlet. Both are still on the ballot, along with Republican nominee Cheri Helt.

Article Topic Follows: News

Jump to comments ↓

KTVZ News Team


KTVZ NewsChannel 21 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content