The council cited an incident when police arrested a woman for attending a private meeting with the mayor in her office.By Royce Jones

DUQUESNE, Pa. (KDKA) – The mayor of Duquesne has been censured. The decision was made during an hour-long special meeting called into order Friday by the City of Duquesne Council.

The council voted 4 to 1, Mayor Nickole Nesby being the dissenting vote, to pass a resolution not to censor, but censure the mayor. Censuring means to formally voice the extreme disapproval of an elected official.

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“Whereas Mayor Nesby is hearby censured by group condemnation, formal disapproval, harsh criticism and denouncement for her actions,” Myron Sainovich, City of Duquesne attorney, said.

The council cited a Jan. 15 incident when police arrested a woman for attending a private meeting with the mayor in her office.

Police said residents are not allowed inside City Hall because of the coronavirus. The mayor previously told KDKA the rules changed and the meeting was about the woman’s water bill.

Council alleged the woman was the mayor’s personal assistant.

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“It was later discovered the individual assistant never spoke with the employee of the city in charge of water rules. In fact, had credit on her bill and owed no money,” said Sainovich.

The council contended Mayor Nesby jeopardized peoples’ health by allowing the woman inside. And they claimed she misled the public on social media to embarrass the arresting officers and city administration, leading to the censure.

Following the heated meeting, Mayor Nesby told KDKA these allegations are based on speculation and considers this move a smear campaign.

“I think this censure is just an attack on me for standing up and working for a better Duquesne. If it wasn’t election year, it probably wouldn’t come up at all,” said Nesby.

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Council members said on the meeting there will be no action against police for removing the woman from the building. But this could change as the mayor said she is requesting an independent review of the entire incident seeking corrective action.