Davenport to open investigation into alderman’s claims of racist comments used in City Hall

Davenport Mayor announced an investigation into claims of racist remarks by councilman
Published: Sep. 27, 2023 at 6:10 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 27, 2023 at 11:26 PM CDT
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - During its council meeting Wednesday, Davenport Mayor Mike Matson said the city would open an investigation into claims made by Alderman Tim Kelly about a fellow alderman using the n-word after a city meeting in August.

The Mayor says he will hand-pick a panel of “respected and well-known members of the community” to investigate the allegations.

Kelly said it was fellow Alderman Robby Ortiz who made the comments.

“We were actually having a discussion on being better aldermen, how to come and do our jobs and enjoy doing our jobs. And I said you guys are racially insensitive to things that go on for me and my community, and I need you to pay more attention to these things. I said the days of Archie Bunker, honky and negro are over. And Ald. Ortiz just unleashed: That’s hard for me because I say what’s up n—, hey n—, that’s my n—. I looked at my surroundings, they kind of looked at me, and then I thought I’m done.”

Kelly said the city is late in acting.

Ortiz said he welcomes an investigation.

Originally on the agenda for Wednesday was to appoint a person to take the seat of 7th Ward alderman until an alderman is elected in November. However, the council chose to vote on a later date. The council recently removed Derek Cornette after allegations of harassment and inappropriate conduct.

Cornette is running in the Oct. 10 primary.