CLOVIS — Clovis Mayor Mike Morris on Thursday again called on City Commissioner David Bryant to resign amid allegations he failed to attend a training session the city paid for him to attend.
Morris first made the allegation public on June 23 and promised to bring it up again the next time commissioners met, which was Thursday.
Morris claims Bryant engaged in a “misuse of public funds” since he stayed in a hotel at city expense where the training was held.
Bryant was absent from Thursday’s meeting. He offered no explanation for his absence. Asked by The News in a text message whether he had comment in response to Morris’ allegations, Bryant wrote: “I will have, just be patient.”
Close to the beginning of the meeting, Morris outlined his complaint against Bryant.
“He (Bryant) said he went to a seminar and did not. He lied to (the) commission about his attendance. I asked him to return the funds and resign,” Morris said.
Records show city funds were used for Bryant to attend a seminar presented by the New Mexico Municipal League in Santa Fe.
Morris told commissioners he had spoken with the New Mexico Municipal League board president, who suggested Morris file a complaint with the state ethics commission.
“I can’t tolerate it, and I will continue to call it out. His (Bryant’s) words and actions are unacceptable of a public official. I just wanted the public to be aware of the timeline and my actions,” Morris said.
Clovis resident Farril Defoor addressed the commission in support of Bryant, alleging Morris has harassed Bryant for months over actions during the consideration of the city’s anti-abortion ordinance.
Defoor questioned Morris’ trip to Santa Fe some months ago in support of gubernatorial candidate Rebecca Dow.
Defoor also questioned whether Morris’ trips to Washington, D.C., were paid for by taxpayers.
“I’d like your resignation,” Defoor said as he left the podium.
“It sounds like he’s guilty without a fair trial,” Clovis resident Dan Otero said of the discussion about Bryant.
Portales resident Logan Brown also spoke to commissioners during the public comment portion of the meeting.
“If the allegations are true, I will be the first to ask for an apology. I’m on the side of truth. If the allegations are false, I will ask for your (Morris’) resignation,” Brown said.
Brown labeled the discussion as “he said-she said allegations.”
Commissioner Gene Porter said he was hoping Bryant would respond to the mayor’s allegations.
“I wish he was here,” Porter said.
Porter said he looked into matters himself. He told those in attendance he made multiple phone calls.
“In my heart I searched for ways … is there any other resolution for this? How does this get fixed? There is no other resolution,” Porter said.
Porter said he spoke with Municipal League staff who told him Bryant attended the earliest part of the meeting but said they did not see him for other parts of the session.
“I was hopeful Commissioner Bryant would have some sort of response,” Porter said, who added he did not hear back from Bryant.
Porter said the request for Bryant’s resignation is in order.
“I would hope he takes the road of honor. I don’t think just an apology will suffice,” Porter said.
“We have a responsibility to the public to be accountable for what we do,” Mayor Pro Tem Chris Bryant said. Chris and David Bryant are not related.