South Pasadena Councilwoman Marina Khubesrian sent a letter to our newsroom regarding recent events.
By News Desk
Here’s the letter in its entirety:
I was recently accused of creating two email accounts and sending emails from those accounts using fictitious names. I originally declined comment on the grounds that the accusations should not be adjudicated in the press and I did not want to influence, or create the appearance of influencing, the investigation. Thus, it is not the media’s or community’s fault that they did not know what to infer by me declining to comment. But, clearly, I cannot continue to stay silent and wait until the investigation is concluded even while I am cooperating fully.
I want to share important information that will give transparency to this disturbing matter: I alone was responsible for sending the emails from two email accounts using fictitious names in May and June this year. While this happened during a time of great personal stress and when I was facing a serious health issue, there is absolutely no excuse for my conduct. I also had some serious reactions to a medication I was taking and had a lot of increased anxiety that was exacerbated during the Covid-19 pandemic. Frankly, I am extremely remorseful, embarrassed and mortified by my actions.
Therefore, I want to convey a deep and sincere apology to all in the City of South Pasadena, especially to those who received or reviewed the emails. I will reach out and individually apologize to the individuals who received emails or were mentioned in the emails especially since the hardest regret I live with is the knowledge that what I’ve done caused or could have caused someone any harm, worry, concern or emotional upset.
I further apologize to the people who I work with and have worked with in the City and City Council whose professional and personal lives may have been impacted by this – none of whom were aware that I had sent these emails. Another deep regret I have is that some members of the community, who know and trust me, defended my reputation without knowing all the facts. I further apologize to all who have supported me in the past and present as well as my neighbors, friends, acquaintances and family.
While I believe this conduct was quite out of character for me, I bear ultimate responsibility for ensuring that my personal life comports with the standards expected from a member of the City Council. I’ve reflected on my wrongful and impulsive acts and take responsibility for what I’ve done. Obviously, this influenced my decision to not run for an additional 4-year term on the City Council as I realized I’d been burning the candle at both ends, was overly stressed, had trouble sleeping, and was taking political disputes far too personally. I was also taken aback by harsh criticism of and attacks on hard- working City employees who I thought were doing a good job. I’ve been successfully addressing the stressors and personal health issues that came to a head in May and June.
As background, one of the stressors that led to my irrational and wrong actions was that since 2018 I’d been receiving a series of anonymous emails which were threatening in tone and very critical of City employees without providing real facts. I reported these emails to the City at the time. I’ve attached some examples so that others understand what I meant at the last City Council meeting when I addressed cyber bullying and my family’s concerns about my safety and mental health.
I’ve been a dedicated physician as well as a committed public servant who has gratefully volunteered and served the City of South Pasadena since 2011. As part of my acceptance of responsibility and apology, I will resign my office for the remainder of the term effective at 8:00 a.m. on August 18, 2020. I have provided this date so the City and the City Council have at least a full business day to consider the steps needed to replace me and any other steps needed for my resignation. I will not be voting on any matters nor doing any work on behalf of the City from now until my resignation is effective. I am confident that the Mayor and City Council members will be focused on the important work before the City in the next four months.
I am proud of the work I’ve done for South Pasadena since 2011 and I remain grateful for the support I have received from those who continue to respect me and value my public service.
Councilwoman Khubesrian also included a PDF of emails with her letter (shown below):
(Hover over the PDF and you’ll be able to navigate pages or zoom in and out at the bottom of the document).
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