Councilwoman Allen denies involvement in a politically-charged email sent to city hall employees
Named in the email was Erie City Councilwoman, Liz Allen. Allen says she did not sign off on any flyer being emailed.
At Erie City Hall, emails are sent between employees every day.
But on Tuesday, people were sent an email containing a flyer for an event called “Grab them by the Ballot.” The flyer asks people to go door-to-door around the city’s East side to drum up support for the Democratic Party.
The event is touted as a peaceful meet up to protest the arrival of President Donald Trump in Erie on Wednesday.
Included in the email was a message, stating the flyer was a request to attend from Erie City Councilwoman, Liz Allen.
We spoke to her Tuesday night, and she told us, the flyer was never intended to be sent as an email.
"I did not say you should go to this, I would never do that." Allen said
She says she brought the flyer into to work to give to a fellow employee she thought would be interested in attending the event. Allen says she believes the person took the flyer, scanned it, and sent it to all employees.’
The initial email, obtained by Erie News Now read “Don’t shoot the messenger; requested by a Councilwoman Allen.”
"I never said, hey, can we do something with this." Allen said
She says she didn't find out about the email until she received several emails back. Many of them questioned her for pushing what they called "political propaganda."
One email read “This sounds like a misuse of city email to further a political goal. Certainly, not all agree.”
In response, representatives from the city immediately sent employees a copy of the city’s political activity policy.
The policy prohibits people from publicly displaying or sharing any political stances while on the job.
Allen told us she was aware of the policy and says she would never willingly send political messages during her work hours. Though she says she had never been sent the policy by email until now.
Despite the situation, Allen says she is not sorry for making her participation in the rally known.
"President Trump doesn't reflect my values or what I have come to know as Erie values."
Media and Events Coordinator for Erie Mayor Joe Schember, Andy Steinmetz told us the message was not a “deliberate” violation of the city’s policy. And the situation was handled “internally” with the employee. That employee was reminded of the policy and later issued an apology.
Allen was not involved in the same process.
For a look at the city’s policy, view the file below.