The Cypress City Council voted 4-1 to censure Council Member Frances Marquez for failing to timely and adequately respond to Public Records Act requests, and violating the City’s Code of Ethics, the City Charter, and the City Council’s Civility, Conduct and Governance Policy.
“The City Council determined it was necessary to take this unprecedented action to protect the City’s organizational structure and operational effectiveness,” said Cypress Mayor Paulo Morales. “Sadly, Council Member Marquez has consistently failed to perform her duties in a professional manner or in accordance with local, state, and federal rules. Our residents deserve integrity from their elected representatives and the City Council felt it had no alternative at this juncture.”
The Mayor reports the City Council and City staff made numerous attempts to work with and mentor the first-term Council Member. The Resolution of Censure follows several high-profile incidents involving Council Member Marquez both on and off the dais including non-compliance with the state Public Records Act, making unsubstantiated and potentially libelous public allegations of illegal or unethical behavior by the City Council and City staff, and interference with City business and the City Manager’s role as Cypress’ chief executive officer.
In the City’s 66-year history, no Council Member has ever been censured.
“In my time as a Council Member, the City Council has always engaged in healthy debate over policy and issues, but unsubstantiated allegations that strike at the heart of our city demand a strident rebuke. A recent community survey shows that more than 90 percent of Cypress residents agree our town is an “excellent” or a “good” place to live and raise a family. If Council Member Marquez has ideas that can enhance our community’s quality of life, the City Council and City staff welcome her input, but to be productive, we must start with mutual cooperation.”
A link to the resolution of censure is available here: Censure Resolution
NOTE: the term “censure” is sometimes confused with “censor,” but they have two different meanings. “Censure” is to express a stern disapproval or an official reprimand. “Censor” is to suppress or delete objectionable material. Council Member Marquez was “censured” by the City Council, not “censored.”