HAMTRAMCK — In a meeting on Aug. 25, the Hamtramck City Council voted 4-2 on a resolution to condemn and censure comments made by Mayor Pro Tem Ian Perrotta against a city employee in June.
The resolution contains the colorful language used by Perrotta against the city employee, who had informed Perrotta that his petition to construct two outdoor pavilions for Trixie’s, the bar he owns in Hamtramck, had been denied.
The issue was later resolved and Perrotta received the permit to construct the pavilions after making some necessary technical adjustment to his application. But that’s only after he called the employee from the Building Department to yell at him.
The resolution says Perrotta said the employee “didn’t f***ing know anything”, that the employee was “a little b****”, that the employee was “not doing his job” and was “just a f***ing kid”, among other invectives.
Perrotta, who recently passed the bar, also threatened to sue the city because of the employee’s decision to not grant him the permit.
The resolution also points to Perrotta’s history of bullying and berating other employees, contractors and private citizens, and creating a toxic work environment. This isn’t the first time Perrotta has been censured for misconduct against a fellow city employee.
Perrotta claims his revised application was denied without written explanation based on a zoning ordinance that was not previously applied to the first plan, which was approved.
In a lengthy post on its Facebook page in July, Trixie’s provided an explanation for how it believes the city added unnecessary barriers to the project’s completion.
Perrotta had originally submitted plans for a pavilion and was approved for the project. Perrotta then revised the application after deciding to expand the project to meet outdoor business needs as a result of the pandemic. However, the revised application was denied without written explanation, Perrotta claims, based on a zoning ordinance that was not previously applied to the first plan.
We brought this to the attention of the residents that this elected official poses a threat to our ability bring and retain talent in City Hall. I assure you this is not Ian’s first time harassing a member of (the city’s) government or this Council. — Hamtramck City Councilman Fadel Al-Marsoumi
This is when the conversation between Perrotta and the city employee occurred. Perrotta has publicly admitted to the remarks and has since apologized to the city employee.
The apology was not enough for a majority of the City Council, however. At an Aug. 25 regular meeting, Council Member Mohammed Hassan, no stranger to controversy himself, said this was not an isolated incident.
Perrotta’s outbursts, in private and in his official capacity, are well known. In fact, Perrotta flipped off City Attorney James Allen during a public meeting on Aug. 11, when Allen brought up the incident between Perrotta and the building employee.
Perrotta and his supporters, including Council Member Andrea Karpinski, said during the Aug. 25 meeting Perrotta as a business owner during a pandemic is under a great deal of stress and that it was unfair to drag up a matter about which he has already apologized.
Karpinski instead questioned how Hassan and Council Member Fadel Al-Marsoumi, the two Council members who brought up the resolution, had access to an email that supposedly contained details about the interaction between the city employee and Perrotta.
“I don’t know what the alleged email being brought up says,” Karpinski said. “(This is) a personnel issue that (City Manager Kathy Angerer) has mentioned during COVID and otherwise that City Council is not privy to personnel issues.
“I’m not sure how Mr. Hassan or Mr. Al-Marsoumi have a copy or are entitled to having a copy of that.”
The Arab American News reached out to Al-Marsoumi concerning how he had obtained that information. He said that was irrelevant to the matter and that he had the information and couldn’t sit on it without taking action to protect the city against any potential litigation.
He also said that in case of such litigation, he would have to admit, under oath, that he knew of Perrotta’s tirade against the employee and did nothing to act on that information. He also said Perrotta verbally abused the employee based on the employee’s age, which is discriminatory.
“We brought this to the attention of the residents that this elected official poses a threat to our ability bring and retain talent in City Hall,” Al-Marsoumi said during the Aug. 25 meeting. “I assure you this is not Ian’s first time harassing a member of (the city’s) government or this Council.”
Full City Council meetings can be found on the city of Hamtramck Facebook page.