SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – There was more political fallout at Sacramento City Hall in the form of a counter lawsuit after a temporary restraining order against a new hire was denied.
The announcement came in late Thursday that new city staffer Skyler Henry is now filing litigation against the city in superior court.READ MORE: Growth Of Dixie Fire Slows Considerably; Full Containment Expected By Mid-August
This political fight has been brewing all week, now culminating in more legal action. Henry filed what’s called anti-SLAPP litigation against the city. His attorney says he’s entitled to seek damages from the city after the city’s attempt to suppress Henry of his constitutional right to free speech.
It all stems from comments Henry made in a podcast. The city attorney filed for a temporary restraining order this week to keep Henry 100 feet away from city hall, but it was denied.
Henry was recently hired by Councilmember Katie Valenzuela, who has said he is not a safety concern. This comes despite his comments seemingly condoning acts of vandalism last year at the homes of several city leaders.READ MORE: Paul Flores To Face Judge In Preliminary Hearing In Kristin Smart Murder Case
“You do not get to make the decisions that you have made over and over and over, to the detriment of everybody who lives here, and then go home to your little McMansion in Natomas and have a good night’s rest. I’m sorry,” Henry said in the podcast.
Henry has said he would not resign, calling the attempted restraining order part of a shameful political attack against Valenzuela. His attorney Mark Merin issued a statement reading, in part:
“It is deplorable that the city attorney has used the city’s resources in a fruitless attempt to block access to city hall by Councilmember Valenzuela’s employee…and is further exposing the city to having to pay Mr. Henry’s legal fees to oppose their efforts.”MORE NEWS: 'I'm In Shock': Colusa Farmer Fears Former Schoolmate Died In Helicopter Crash
Meanwhile, Henry says he’s looking forward to starting his new job at city hall, saying he firmly believes dissenting opinions are a necessary and important part of any political body. While the temporary restraining order against him was denied, a hearing on the request is still set for next month.