Thorpe to be in Seattle Tuesday for transportation conference, won’t say why he missed part of last council meeting

Thorpe prepares to leave the Sept. 27, 2022, council meeting two hours and 16 minutes early to catch a flight to Los Angeles turning the remainder meeting over to the leadership of Mayor Pro Tem Mike Barbanica. Video screenshot.

Expected to participate via Zoom; “assistant” reveals Thorpe traveled to Los Angeles for one day

By Allen D. Payton

Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe left the Sept. 27, 2022, council meeting early after getting his council colleagues to move up some agenda items and public comments moved toward the end. It was the first council meeting held since the Board of Supervisors voted for the $350,000 settlement in the sexual harassment lawsuit against him on Tuesday, Sept. 13th. While Thorpe refuses to give the reason for the quick trip or where he went, it was later revealed by his “assistant” on his official Facebook page, that he had flown to Los Angeles and returned Wednesday but didn’t say why, either.

Thorpe will be in Seattle for a four-day transportation conference, Tuesday night, Oct. 11th during the council meeting, but is expected to participate via Zoom. Antioch District 4 Councilwoman Monica Wilson is also expected to be on the same trip and participating in the meeting via Zoom. They both serve on the Tri Delta Transit Board of Directors representing Antioch and for which he currently serves as vice chair.

Antioch Chamber of Commerce Executive Daniel Sohn (left) with Interim City Manager Con Johnson and Thorpe at the Starbucks in the Bluerock Center on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022. Source: Facebook

In a post on his official Facebook page on Thursday morning, Thorpe shared a photo of himself with Daniel Sohn, executive director of the Antioch Chamber of Commerce and Interim City Manager Con Johnson inside the Bluerock Starbucks celebrating “National Coffee Day” and inviting one resident to “get down here, gurl! there’s plenty to go around.”

Thorpe was asked about his Tuesday night flight and being out of town for the next council meeting on Oct. 11th. Following a voicemail message to which he did not respond, Thorpe was asked again via email Friday morning, Sept. 30, “To where did you catch a flight Tuesday night and for what reason that caused you to leave the council meeting early? When did you return that allowed you to be back in Antioch at the Bluerock Starbucks yesterday (Thursday) morning to take and post the photo on ‘National Coffee Day’?”

Since Thorpe said he would be gone for the next council meeting, as well, it was assumed he was traveling out of town for two weeks. He was also asked, “since you have your DUI trial scheduled for next Thursday, Oct. 6, did you not actually travel out of town? Where will you be on Tuesday night, Oct. 11 that will cause you to miss that night’s council meeting?”

He was also asked, “is this merely an effort, along with moving up the items before public comment on last Tuesday’s council meeting agenda, to avoid hearing public criticism and negative comments from people regarding the recent settlement of the sexual harassment suit against you?”

Thorpe did not respond.

Thorpe’s Facebook post about the A Street homeless encampment cleanup on Thursday, Sept. 29. Source: Facebook

However, in another post on also his official Facebook page, the same day, about the cleanup of the homeless camps on A Street along the railroad right-of-way, someone asked in a comment, “How can you be out of town but be at Starbucks on lone tree? #transparentantioch”

The response from someone read, “Mayor Thorpe was in Los Angeles Wednesday not Thursday.”

This reporter then asked, “why? Was it an official, government trip or personal?” Neither the person nor Thorpe responded. Those comments have since been illegally removed.

On Monday, Oct. 3 he was, again asked about his trip to L.A., “Why were you there? Was it an official, government trip, personal or for other business? If for a government trip, what did you do on behalf of the City of Antioch in Los Angeles, that day? If not, could it have been scheduled for some other time, so you didn’t have to miss part of Tuesday night’s meeting and rearrange the agenda? How long before Tuesday night did you know about your flight out that night? Was it prior to you developing the agenda for Tuesday night’s meeting? Also, why will you be unable to attend the next council meeting on Oct. 11, either in person or via Zoom?”

Thorpe was also asked, why he has an “assistant” responding to members of the public on his official Facebook page, who she is and if she is being paid by the city in some capacity or from his campaign funds. Finally, he was asked, “Do you really not have the time to interact with your own constituents?”

He did not respond.

Another attempt was made to obtain Thorpe’s reasons for missing part of the last council meeting and the next one. He was asked Tuesday night, Oct. 4th, “Why did you have to fly out of town last Tuesday night causing you to miss part of the council meeting?” and “Why will you be unable to participate in the next council meeting either in person or via Zoom on Tuesday, Oct. 11th? Where will you be and why?”

On Saturday morning, Oct. 8 Thorpe was asked via email, “Is it true you will be participating in next Tuesday’s council meeting via Zoom because you will be in Seattle, Washington for the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) conference as a member of the Tri Delta Transit board? If so, why do you need to go? Do all the board members attend each APTA conference each year? Will any staff or other board members from the agency be traveling there with you, other than Monica Wilson? How much is your trip costing the agency, thus the taxpayers? Also, again, why did you fly to L.A. on Tuesday night Sept. 27 causing you to miss part of the council meeting that night?”

Thorpe did not respond by publication time.

the attachments to this post:

Thorpe prepares to leave the 9-27-22 council mtg

Thorpe FB post re A St homeless camp cleanup 092922

Daniel Sohn, Con & Lamar Starbucks Bluerock 092922

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