In the latest socio-political scandal to emerge from California, destined to go down in history known as “Poopgate,” San Marino’s Mayor Dennis Kneier resigned his office on June 18 in disgrace after being videotaped tossing doggie doo doo onto the front yard of his political opponent, Philip Lao, back on June 7. According to The Huffington Post, when Lao saw the canine feces on his front walk, he checked his home surveillance system, recognized Kneier as the culprit and contacted the San Marino police.
The YouTube video of Kneier cavalierly tossing the poop into Lao’s yard has since gone viral. The mayor was given a citation for littering by police.
The public outrage from San Marino’s citizens who exclaimed that Kneier tarnished the image and smeared the good name of the city by his actions was the mayor’s incentive for resigning. Although he has stepped down as mayor of San Marino, Kneier will retain his post on the City Council. San Marino’s interim mayor is now Eugene Sun, also a City Council member. Sun will serve as mayor until June 27. “The council will meet next week to select a new mayor,” according to The Pasadena Star-News .
Kneier has been a city council member for seven years. He began his second term as mayor of San Marino last January. His term as a council member runs through November 2015.
Kneier wrote that his actions were inconsiderate, disrespectful , and just doggone wrong, to paraphrase. He stated in his resignation letter that he decided to resign his post instead of continuing to embarrass himself and the residents San Marino.
“I have apologized to my neighbor for my action, and I will pay a fine for littering,” Kneier wrote.
“These events continue to be embarrassing to me and to the city. Because of this, I have decided to step down as mayor.”
Following the public release of Lao’s surveillance video, the term “Poopgate” was coined back on June 11 at a San Marino City Council meeting attended by 100 of the city’s residents. It was standing room only, as the City Council meeting room can only accommodate 49 people. Citizens at the meeting also took the opportunity to express their disdain for Kneier’s weak public service record.
“I regret the fact that I did what I did,” Kneier said. “Some people said it was a minor thing, but I’m not making any excuses whatsoever. I've apologized. I will pay a fine for it, but it’s not the end of the world, and I will continue on.”
For more on Kneier’s resignation as mayor of San Marino, see the video accompanying this article.