LAKEPORT, Calif. – A meeting earlier this week between a supervisorial candidate and a local newspaper editor allegedly resulted in an attempted assault.
Joan Moss, 67, of Cobb, who is running for the District 5 seat on the Lake County Board of Supervisors, allegedly attempted to punch Lake County Record-Bee Managing Editor Mandy Feder during a behind-closed-doors meeting on Tuesday morning.
Moss did not respond to numerous messages requesting comment left on her home and cellular phone, and sent to her via email throughout the day and into the evening Thursday.
Feder, 46, told Lake County News that Moss' punch missed her.
As a result of the attempted assault, Feder said she called the Lakeport Police Department as a precautionary measure and based on policy relating to when violence occurs.
Lakeport Police Chief Brad Rasmussen confirmed that his agency received a call from Feder about the incident. He said she initially spoke with Sgt. Kevin Odom at around 11 a.m. Tuesday.
“Sgt. Odom provided her with the options and she advised him that she did not want an investigation or for us to spend any time on this,” Rasmussen said.
Based on Feder’s wishes, Rasmussen said Odom did not take a report on the incident.
“This is not unusual in this type of incident where the crime is a minor misdemeanor with no mandated reporting or investigative requirement – we could complete a police report but are not required to and often do not when the victim does not want to pursue anything,” Rasmussen said.
Feder said she's fine, despite the attempted attack from the taller, heavier and older Moss.
Although she was the alleged target of a physical attack from a candidate for public office Feder declined to press charges because, she said, “I'm trying to maintain a fair election process.”
Feder did, however, have Moss – who previously had written columns for the newspaper – banned from the Record-Bee Building, located at 2150 S. Main St. in Lakeport.
“If there were contact it would be different,” Feder said of her decision not to press charges. “I would just like to say she acted inappropriately and was asked to leave and not come back.”
Feder would not explain what precipitated the confrontation with Moss, who recently has been placing attack ads with inaccurate information in the newspaper targeting her opponent in the race, incumbent District 5 Supervisor Rob Brown.
The Record-Bee has officially endorsed Brown in the District 5 supervisorial race.
In an email exchange between Brown and Moss on Thursday – which Brown shared with Lake County News, the Record-Bee and the Santa Rosa Press Democrat – Moss told Brown that “my attorney said no comment regarding allegations of any kind.”
“While I understand as well as anyone the pressures of campaigning, it would seem that there really is no excuse for the kind of behavior that my opponent is being accused of,” Brown told Lake County News Thursday.
Calls and emails to Record-Bee Publisher Kevin McConnell and the Denver parent corporation of the Record-Bee, MediaNews Group, were not returned or were disconnected.
A call to the MediaNews Group Human Resources Department to determine what policy might exist for workplace assaults was transferred to Ethics Director Tim McGuire and promptly disconnected. Subsequent calls to McGuire's extension were answered by voice mail and not returned.
Email John Jensen at email@example.com .