Last December, Minneapolis City Councilwoman Alondra Cano was taking criticism for her support of Black Lives Matter and its protests at the airport and the Mall of America.
That's not unusual for a public official. But Cano's response was. She took to Twitter, outing her critics by posting their private email addresses and phone numbers to her 2,000 followers.
The city's Ethical Practices Board didn't take kindly to this act of doxing and launched a probe, the first time the investigation into a council member has been sustained since the board was established in 2003.
The council is scheduled to vote on whether to accept the board's findings on October 7. If it does, the report on Cano's actions will be made public.
Now Cano is firing back, threatening to spread word of other councilmembers' misdeeds if the investigation isn't stopped.
On September 10, she sent a terse, one-page letter to members Barb Johnson, Lisa Goodman, and Elizabeth Glidden. In it Cano threatens to out various colleagues for allegedly using "city property for 'political purposes'" if they should vote to accept the investigation's findings.
"If the Council votes to approve the Ethics findings," Cano writes, "I will speak out against the vote and circulate a press release to the media about the issue with the screen shots I've gathered since January of 2016."
Last month, the council gathered for a lengthy, closed-door session to consider its response to the ethics complaint. At the time, the panelists voted to "continue" the issue, meaning it was buying time before officially voting.
"I was extremely disappointed in how the Council, and [Barb Johnson] personally, handled the discussion," Cano's letter reads. "When it was offered to have us dismiss the issue and apologize, I was ready to move forward with that plan and even asked Goodman on that. Instead, the Council decided to prolong the conversation and now we will have to vote on this issue publicly in front of the media.... So that deal was off the table when you all voted to keep the discussion going."
Cano doesn't reveal what kind of damaging material she may have on her colleagues. But she makes clear she's prepared to return fire unless her own investigation is quashed.
In a phone call with City Pages Thursday morning, Cano says her email "isn't a threat, but a fact."
She adds that there's a "double standard" when it comes to ethics probes, saying, "I'm not going to... be bullied, because everyone is guilty of this."