Pasco Councilman Tom Larsen still hasn't said he is sorry.
And it's not the first time he has refused to apologize to city employees after being accused of making false statements or abusive comments about city staff.
Most recently, Larsen claimed city employees were lying about the terms of an agreement to sell some of Pasco's excess sewer capacity to the Port of Walla Walla.
Despite evidence that the council received information about the agreement, he continued to insist he was right.
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In 2005, Larsen's campaign flier expressed distrust in the city manager, staff and fellow council members and claimed the city did not disclose all of its finances, according to Herald archives.
He was called out for it during a council meeting. Instead of apologizing, Larsen said at the time that Pasco City Manager Gary Crutchfield runs the city and controls the council.
"In my 33 years of public service, I've never witnessed such utter disregard for the truth," Crutchfield said at the time.
Crutchfield said the heart of the issue is Larsen's lack of regard for the truth.
Once Larsen has made up his mind, it is made up, Crutchfield said.
For example, Larsen in 2008 continued to insist he was right about citizens paying more in taxes, despite the city's property tax levy rate dropping, even after Pasco Mayor Matt Watkins shared information that showed Larsen was paying less in property taxes.
And Larsen has made waves beyond city hall.
He was removed from representing Pasco on the Benton-Franklin Council of Governments after misrepre- senting the city's position on the Columbia River Bridge Crossing study in 2009, according to Herald archives.
Larsen could not explain the city's position at a meeting, and instead, said, "It's what Crutchfield wants. He runs the city and he runs the council," according to Herald archives.
Larsen apologized then, but the council still kicked him off that committee in a 5-2 vote, with Councilman Al Yenney and Larsen dissenting.
Removing a council member is an unusual step, but Crutchfield said it also was an unusual act on Larsen's part.
Larsen expressed distrust of the city and council members even before he was elected in 2001.
During his campaign, he said the council rubber stamps "city management's spendy projects," according to Herald archives.
Councilman Mike Garrison recently said Larsen fought being annexed by the city in 1996 and dislikes city staff.
"I think he has a bad attitude about the council and particularly the staff," Garrison said.
Larsen sometimes seems to give preference to those who live outside the city rather than focusing on what is best for the overall city, Garrison said. "He doesn't have the proper attitude to me to take care of what is best for the citizens, not just what is best for some small minority group," he said.
Garrison, who has been on the council 24 years, said he consistently approaches staff members to have issues explained. He said he would be willing to wager that Larsen had never called staff to ask a question.
Crutchfield said Larsen has not called him to ask a question in more than 10 years.
Larsen has made it clear that he believes the city should be run by a mayor and council, without a city manager, Crutchfield said.
Larsen is entitled to his opinion but not to defame city staff, Crutchfield said.
Council members did what they could last month, giving him time to apologize and telling him they wouldn't tolerate abuse of staff, he said.
At the time, Larsen said, "This is the kettle calling the pot, I guess."
Larsen declined to be interviewed about his controversial behavior on the council. In an email to the Herald, he said he did not lie to anyone.
Larsen said at last month's meeting that some council members would roll their eyes when people said things they didn't understand when he was first elected.
"And you put up with that kind of stuff," Larsen said at the meeting. "But when a person makes a mistake, then we hold a courtroom kind of session and we get our pound of flesh. I hope we enjoy that pound of flesh."
But he never gave the public apology Crutchfield asked for in a memo to the council.
Watkins said Friday that it was important to highlight Larsen's unacceptable behavior.
"Hopefully he learns from that and treats staff appropriately in the future," he said.
The council meets once a week to guide city business, but most of the city's work is done by staff. Pasco is lucky to have the ethical, professional staff it does, Watkins said.
If Larsen does make inappropriate comments, innuendo or false claims, Watkins said he intends to deal with the comments then.
Watkins did a good job of handling a difficult situation, Councilman Bob Hoffmann told the Herald.
In general, Pasco's council members work well together, but that isn't true of all city councils, Hoffmann said.
Larsen was elected by the people, Hoffmann said. If he consistently undermines the process, Pasco residents can vote him out.
But overall, Hoffmann said, Larsen's behavior isn't serious enough to prevent him from being a valuable council member.