One of embattled Poway City Councilwoman Betty Rexford's neighbors reported an alleged run-in with her husband Sunday to local sheriff's deputies, reported the North County Times.
Poway Sheriff Sgt. Greg Rylaarsdam told the paper Monday that deputies responding to a disturbance call from Nathan Cannon were told he was outdoors on his Creek Road property when the Rexfords drove by in their car. Paul Rexford allegedly flipped off Cannon, who reported that he responded in kind, Rylaarsdam said.
Published reports said Cannon also reported being threatened by Paul Rexford. Cannon could not be reached Monday for comment, and Rylaarsdam said he did not know if a threat had been made.
However, detectives declined to investigate the incident because they had no evidence of criminal behavior, the sergeant said.
In mid-August, four members of the Poway City Council asked Councilwoman Rexford to resign after a settlement in a lawsuit that claimed she used her influence to interfere with construction on her neighbor's property, the North County Times reported, but she refused, and soon afterward a local resident began an effort to recall her.
Council members announced the $360,000 settlement and made the request to Rexford after a closed session on Aug. 20. Rexford was in Las Vegas at the time, visiting her critically ill son, but listened to the meeting by phone and said at that time that she would not step down.
Rexford, who is up for re-election next year, defended herself in a letter to the News Chieftain newspaper.
"I think it is important for the public to know that the amount of the settlement was based upon a reimbursement of the plaintiff’s legal fees, which I understand were approximately $364,000 prior to the settlement. There was no payment for damages," Rexford wrote. "Furthermore, the attorney litigating in behalf of the City has told me that there was no evidence presented to establish that I was at fault. Although the judge found that the case should not be thrown out and the plaintiffs should be allowed to have their day in court, there never was a finding of guilt or impropriety on my part or the part of any City employee."
In late August, a letter of intent to recall Rexford was served to the embattled councilwoman, reported the Pomerado Newspaper Group. That effort is being spearheaded by Steve Vaus, a longtime Poway resident and recording artist who has been nominated twice for Grammy Awards, according to the news group.
"This is a case where all indications are someone crossed such a well-defined line that, as a local citizen, I can't sit back and ignore it," Vaus told the local paper.
The lawsuit was filed in 2007 by Rexford's neighbors Allen and Dawn Basile and Nathan and Rachel Cannon, the North County Times reported. The suit named Rexford, her husband, Paul, the city and former Development Services Director Niall Fritz as defendants. The homeowners claim Rexford made numerous complaints about their projects and pressured Fritz to interfere with their construction plans.