Controversial Tonasket Mayor Dennis Brown said he will not resign even after two city council members cast "no confidence" votes against him.
A "no confidence" is a a formal vote where members of deliberative body indicate that they no longer support a leader.
City leaders in Tonasket gathered at a meeting on Tuesday night to talk about law enforcement after Brown recently disbanded the entire police department.
About 60 people were at the meeting, including members of the Tonasket Public Safety Committee. Council members are expected to discuss the options of creating a new police department or contract with the county at a regular meeting next Tuesday.
The city council also held a special meeting Tuesday, Jan. 8 over whether to oust Brown amid accusations that he told a former police officer to change his name to something "less Hispanic."
The council began their discussion by citing reasons for why they did or did not want to keep Brown in the position, including his recent decision to disband the Tonasket Police Department. Then, former police officer Jose Perez stood and told the room Brown wanted him to change his name from "Jose" to "Joseph."
“The mayor (walked) into the police station one day,” Perez said. “He says, ‘Hey, I changed your name from ‘Jose’ to ‘Joseph’ because it sounds too stereotypical, too Hispanic.”
Perez said the mayor once accompanied him on one of his patrols to make sure he started introducing himself to people as “Joseph,” and not “Jose.”
“I felt degraded. I felt humiliated,” Perez said. “My blood was boiling. I was angry of what I had just heard. I felt like my dignity was taken away, taking away my birth name, ‘Jose,’ that my mother gave me.”
The mayor's decision to disband the department on Sunday terminated Perez's contract. KREM 2 reached out to Mayor Brown multiple times for a comment but received no response.
At the meeting, Councilwoman Jill Ritter proposed that the mayor’s salary be reduced from its current amount, $650, to only $50. Since the Tonasket police department has been disbanded, the Okanogan County Sheriff’s Department will take over the city’s law enforcement duties.