Elk Grove Mayor Steve Ly Issues Apology; Accusers Issue Statements In Response
Elk Grove Mayor Steve Ly issued an apology Friday to the women accusing him and his supporters of political intimidation and harassment. Several of Ly’s alleged accusers responded late Friday night. In a statement released online, the embattled Mayor expressed sorrow for the “pain and suffering” experienced by his accusers.
“Over the past few weeks, I have had time to reflect on the disturbing and unacceptable incidents experienced by women in our community. They have spoken out about being harassed, intimidated, and bullied. I believe them and acknowledge their pain. I am deeply sorry for the pain and suffering they have endured. I realize that Jaclyn Moreno’s experience was hurtful and her needs should have been centered more. I am sincerely sorry she had to experience that.
I do not condone any conduct of anyone who engages in disrespectful and harmful behavior towards women or any person. To any supporter or anyone who claims to be acting in my name as a way to show their support, this is not the way. Please stop such reprehensible behavior. This only further hurts those who have experienced and endured the negative impacts of such actions.
To anyone who has been subjected to any form of harassment, intimidation, or bullying: You have my full support, sympathy, and commitment to end such behavior no matter who or what the cause of it is. I continue to believe in restorative justice, and to that end, I renew my willingness to meet with the women who have spoken out and have been harmed to begin the process of healing.
Furthermore, I agree that multiple approaches for systemic change are needed. I support Jaclyn Moreno’s recommendation for change. Let’s be inclusive regarding changes with policies and procedures, not just only in the city, but hopefully in the CSD and school district as well. We should also jointly form an ethics commission that will review the rights and due process of all, including women and girls. I am hopeful we will come together to heal and better serve Elk Grove.”
Cosumnes CSD Board Director Jaclyn Moreno
Cosumnes CSD Director Jaclyn Moreno recently released an Op-Ed detailing political harassment by Ly’s supporters. Op-Ed: I was Harassed and Intimidated. Mayor Steve Ly Refused To Stop It.
Also among Ly’s accusers is EGUSD Board Trustee’s Bobbie Singh-Allen and Nancy Chaires Espinoza, as well as former Ly campaign official Linda Vwj and Elk Grove Tribune Editor-in-Chief and owner Dr. Jacqueline “Jax” Cheung. Mayor Ly will face Singh-Allen in the race for Mayor this November. The Elk Grove City Council voted to put a possible censure of Mayor Steve Ly on the next City Council Agenda. The Elk Grove City Council meets again next Wednesday at 6PM.
In a series of statements released late Friday, Bobbie Singh-Allen, Nancy Chaires Espinoza, Linda Vwj and Dr. Jacqueline “Jax” Cheung fired back with statements of their own in response to Mayor Steve Ly’s apology. See below for each statement.
EGUSD Board Trustee Bobbie Singh-Allen
“It is hard to believe that Steve Ly is STILL not acknowledging or taking responsibility for his own actions in directly harassing women in our community. We are not calling on him to acknowledge that harassment exists in the abstract, but to acknowledge and change HIS pattern of behavior that is years-long.”
EGUSD Board Trustee Nancy Chaires Espinoza
“Steve Ly’s statement—only issued days before the City Council considers censuring him—oddly fails to include any elements of an actual apology. There is no expression of regret for what he’s done, explanation of what he did wrong, repentance, offer of repair to his victims, request for forgiveness, and most importantly: no acknowledgement of responsibility. He simply continues to add insult to the mounting list of injuries.”
Linda Vwj, Former Campaign Manager of Steve Ly
“What a disingenuous apology, again. Clearly Steve Ly is not ready to accept responsibility for the harm he has caused to us. Instead, he chose to place blame on other people. I will never accept an extension of an olive branch that is not accompanied with changed behavior. It is a real shame that the first Mayor of Hmong descent in the United States is choosing to create his legacy this way.”
Editor-In-Chief of Elk Grove Tribune
Dr. Jacqueline “Jax” Cheung
“Mayor Steve Ly, I see you named Jaclyn Moreno and said her needs should have been centered more. That’s an understatement. If you had stepped in then she wouldn’t have had to endure bullying and harassment from Ty Sorci, who was your External Affairs Liason paid for by the City of Elk Grove.
How are about the rest of us? What I see here is that you are still refusing to acknowledge your personal role in this. You’ve said to the press and in City Council meetings that you can’t control your clan or your supporters. But you’ve NEVER said from the getgo to leave me, Linda Vwj, Bobbie Singh-Allen, Nancy Chaires Espinoza, and Jaclyn Moreno alone. During the last City Council meeting over 2 dozen people called in to discredit me and Linda Vwj in what Vice Mayor Detrick described as “an orchestrated attack with the same bullet points.”
You’ve turned this into a situation where you are targeting all the women who are victims of bullying and harassment already and portraying them as anti-Hmong. You make it seem like our claims are completely fiction. You had the Police Chief say that they found nothing during the last City Council meeting, and yet Linda and I weren’t allowed to respond and say that no matter what the police have found or not found, that doesn’t mean were weren’t harassed, bullied, intimidated, or attacked.
I was never against you before. In fact, I think you would probably agree we had a very good professional relationship. But I see zero accountability on your part here Mayor Ly. You still refuse to acknowledge your own role in everything that has happened. I will not be silenced. And I will stand with my sisters Linda Vwj, Bobbie Singh-Allen, Nancy Chaires Espinoza, and Jaclyn Moreno and I will fight. We will fight to hold you accountable. We will fight for justice. And we will fight until we remove you from leadership and start our city on a path to healing, unity, and mutual respect.
WHAT’S MY NAME?! SAY MY NAME!! WHAT ARE THE NAMES OF ALL THE WOMEN WHO HAVE COME FORWARD? You didn’t even bother to mention me, Bobbie, Nancy, or Linda in your apology. The next time you even TRY to apologize, try saying our names and addressing what’s happened to each of us. But even then, it will be too late.”
This is a developing story.