Wagner resigns, cites abuse from Gibson
FORT COLLINS – Larimer County Commissioner Karen Wagner resigned on Monday, citing “harassment and verbal abuse” from fellow Commissioner Glenn Gibson.In a letter to county voters, Wagner also accused Commissioner Kathay Rennels of failing to intervene in the alleged mistreatment. The letter was posted on the Fort Collins Coloradoan Web site Monday.Gibson disputed the allegations and said he treated others with dignity.”I have no apologies in how I’m working,” he told The Associated Press. “It’s part of the politics. You voice your opinion, you take a vote and the majority wins.”Rennels described Gibson as outspoken and Wagner as sensitive. She said Gibson had not treated Wagner differently than he treated others, including Rennels.Wagner did not immediately respond to telephone and e-mail messages from the AP.In her letter, Wagner, the only Democrat on the three-member board of commissioners, accused Gibson of creating a “hostile workplace that impairs my physical health.”Wagner’s letter gave few specifics but said on June 26 Gibson had “launched two assaults of irrational histrionics not worthy of a county commissioner.”Gibson said the commissioners had been voicing their opinions about who to appoint to county boards that day.”Apparently, she got upset,” he said. He denied engaging in histrionics.Larry Kallenberger, executive director of Colorado Counties Inc., an advocacy group for the state’s counties, said commissioners seldom resign over a dispute with another commissioner.”It is unusual for a commissioner, just out of frustration, to say ‘I quit,’ because the down side is, your enemy wins,” Kallenberger said.Wagner was elected in 2004. A vacancy committee of the county Democratic Party will choose her replacement.Rennels was elected in 1998 and Gibson in 2000.