It was business as usual for the Arroyo Grande City Council on Tuesday as members discussed a police towing contract and a possible location for a homeless shelter in the South County.
Noticeably absent from the routine meeting at City Hall Council Chambers was any public mention of the scandal surrounding Councilman Ed Arnold and his alleged attack on a 28-year-old female city employee who claims she was part of a love triangle involving Arnold and his wife.
Arnold did not attend the meeting. He sent an e-mail to City Manager Steve Adams on Tuesday saying that he wasn’t coming because of significant media coverage of the meeting, the first since Arnold’s arrest.
Arnold is accused of beating the city employee with a metal pipe after breaking into her rented room on Dec. 15, saying he would kill her and blaming her for the breakup of his marriage, according to court documents. The woman was treated for her injuries at a local hospital and released.
The alleged victim and Arnold’s wife, who filed for divorce on Dec. 7, have filed restraining orders against Arnold.
Mayor Tony Ferrara said before the meeting that the council would conduct its business as usual, and that nobody was planning to comment on the Arnold matter.
Ferrara has said that the council has no authority to remove Arnold. Doing so would require a recall, his physical inability to sit on the council or a resignation. None of those has taken place, and Arnold has not indicated to city officials that he plans to vacate his seat.
The council has the option of removing Arnold from his seat if he misses every meeting within a 60-day period, Adams said.
Arnold’s arraignment is planned for Jan. 25, according to the District Attorney’s Office. Charges have not been filed.