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Haymarket Town Council censures Tobias, Weir

On Monday night, the Haymarket Town Council voted by a 4-3 margin to censure vice mayor Jay Tobias and town planning commission chairman Bob Weir.

That comes 17 days after town Police Chief Jim Roop arrested Tobias on Haymarket Day and charged him with being drunk in public.

That following Sunday, Haymarket Mayor David Leake filed a criminal complaint against Weir for cursing at him in public on Haymarket Day.

Weir and Tobias have court dates set for Nov. 7.

Leake broke 3-3 ties by the council on each vote.

Council member Steve Aitken introduced both motions and council member Katherine Harnest seconded them.

Aitken and Harnest joined council member Mary Lou Scarbrough in voting for the resolutions while Tobias and council members Rebecca Bare and Milt Kenworthy voted against them.

Leake defeated Weir in the 2012 mayoral election and endorsed Aitken and Scarbrough for town council. Weir backed Tobias, Kenworthy, Bare and Harnest.

"I think the town council in general would agree that the type of behavior that's been exhibited is not acceptable behavior. It doesn't matter if you're an elected official, appointed official or an employee of the town or anything like that," said Aitken.

"And based upon that, I'd like to make a motion to censure Mr. Tobias and to fine him $250 for his reprehensible behavior on (Saturday), Sept. 21, 2013. The fine would be payable to the town clerk on or before Oct. 21, 2013."

Tobias asked the town attorney about whether the town council has the ability to do that and the attorney confirmed that the council does have that power.

The votes came after several town residents spoke out at the start of the meeting about the incidents on Haymarket Day.

Most of those who spoke about Haymarket Day criticized either Tobias, Weir, or both or spoke out against the alleged behavior in general. Town planning commissioner Ralph Ring urged the public to hold off on judgment until the legal process concludes.

During council member time at the end of the Monday session, Harnest and Scarbrough insisted on an apology from Tobias and suggested he resign otherwise.

Tobias later walked out during an unrelated spat between Leake and Kenworthy as both demanded apologies from each other over another alleged incident from August.

The vice mayor urged Leake and Kenworthy to settle their dispute in private but Leake ruled that Tobias did not have the floor and continued to talk.

"You guys have a good night," said Tobias as he stood up, stepped away from his desk and walked away.

Leake claimed Kenworthy shot a video on his camera phone of the mayor's wife dancing to live music. Kenworthy denied Leake's allegations.

"You owe my wife an apology... That's just creepy," Leake told Kenworthy.

"You're the creepy one," replied Kenworthy.

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