CARSON ( — Voters in Carson will decide Tuesday whether to recall City Clerk Jim Dear, a former mayor, over allegations of harassment – charges that Dear claims are fabrications by political foes.

Dear spent 11 years as Carson’s mayor and was elected city clerk last March. He quickly came under fire by other city officials, including the City Council which officially censured him in October following a probe that found he threatened and harassed other public servants, primarily for his own political gain.

According to the report, several city staffers claimed that Dear created such a hostile work environment that they feared his angry outbursts would escalate to violence, and some even concocted plans for escaping from their City Hall offices if such an attack materialized, the Daily Breeze reported. Other opponents claimed Dear pressured staff to award city contracts and jobs to political allies, while others claimed he made racist comments.

The City Council voted in February to ask the District Attorney’s Office to investigate allegations that Dear ran for city clerk for the sole purpose of increasing his pension, which is based on annual salary. The clerk’s position has a six-figure salary, well above the remuneration for a part-time mayor.

In a ballot statement, Dear said he has worked tirelessly on behalf of the city for 14 years, a period he says has created a “powerful legacy of honest leadership.”

“As your mayor I brought about a new era of clean government to Carson,” he wrote. “Since my election in March 2015, I have served faithfully as city clerk. I am a member of the City Clerks Association of California and International Institute of Municipal Clerks.

“… I hope that my record of service to our city has earned your support on Feb. 23, 2016. Please vote no on the recall,” he wrote.

If voters support the recall, they will have the option of replacing him with former clerk Donesia Gause, who is now an appointed member of the City Council.

(©2016 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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