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Former California city clerk quits: 'Best of luck in finding some schmuck' to fill job

By Mayra Cuevas, CNN
updated 8:47 PM EDT, Wed May 21, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Former city clerk of Pleasant Hill, California, quit with blistering resignation letter
  • Kim Lehmkuhl said the job "has been an atrocious, incredibly depressing ... experience"
  • A recall effort to remove Lehmkuhl from the job was under way, mayor says

(CNN) -- A scathing resignation letter written by a former city clerk in Pleasant Hill, California, has gone viral after she wished the city "best of luck in finding some schmuck" to fill her position.

"This has been an atrocious, incredibly depressing, and mind-numbingly inane experience I would not wish on anyone," former clerk Kim Lehmkuhl wrote in her resignation letter. "I wish the City the best of luck in finding some schmuck eager to transcribe every last misogynistic joke, self-indulgent anecdote, and pathetic pandering attempt by Council, and every tinfoil hat conspiracy theory, racist aside, and NIMBY asshattery from the lovely Council meeting frequent flyers, without which, surely our democracy could not flourish. June, also best of luck with your imminent unfunded pensions scandal, that is going to be a rough one."

The letter was addressed to Mayor Tim Flaherty and City Manager June Catalano. It became public after it was admitted into the record during a council meeting Monday.

"At least her resignation demonstrated her ability to craft a full sentence with colorful language," Flaherty told CNN, adding that there was a recall effort under way to remove Lehmkuhl.

"Every councilmember had called for her resignation," he said. "We had to hire people to do her job."

CNN reached out to Lehmkuhl via Twitter and e-mail but did not receive a response.

In a blog dedicated to her clerk campaign, Lehmkuhl wrote she "would be honored to have the opportunity to serve our local community as your City Clerk." She adds, "I am committed to helping Pleasant Hill residents stay engaged in our community, and to keeping City Hall accountable, ethical and transparent."

Martin Nelis, the city's public information officer, told CNN that residents had complained that Lehmkuhl would post offensive tweets during public meetings about what was being discussed.

"Residents criticized her for tweeting during meetings rather than taking notes or recording the proceedings of the meetings for the formal minutes process," he said.

The Twitter account Lehmkuhl used has since been disabled.

"We are not quite sure why she ran for office in the first place, what her expectations were once elected. We have never received a complete answer. Obviously what her expectation was is different of what the public and the council expected of her," Nelis said.

Flaherty said he considered sending the letter back to Lehmkuhl and asking her to rewrite it but instead settled for, "Your decision is best for you and for the City of Pleasant Hill."

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