Douglas County chairman says he regrets behavior at meeting where fight occurred
Douglas County Commission Chairman Barry Penzel issued a statement addressing Thursday’s meeting where a fight broke out between commissioners.
“As the Chairman of the Douglas County Board of County Commissioners, I would like to express that I regret the behavior which occurred during the Board of County Commissioners Meeting on May 16,” he said. “This is not the way we wish to conduct business for the people of Douglas County. I am committed to working on settling our differences in a more appropriate manner in the future.”
Douglas County deputies were called to the Tahoe Transportation Center at 5:55 p.m., just minutes after a heated exchange between Penzel and Commissioner John Engels, who had just finished reading a five-page statement critical of the commissioners supporting Redevelopment Area No. 2.
Penzel called a recess and he, Engels and Commissioner Larry Walsh walked into the room behind the tables.
The Sheriff’s Office reported that a fight took place that resulted in an injury. Engels came out with a bleeding arm and was treated by paramedics. He did not participate in the rest of the meeting.
Penzel took closing public comment, which focused on the redevelopment area, after which commissioners voted 3-1 to continue the issue to the next meeting at Lake Tahoe, which should be June 20.
Citing an open and ongoing investigation, the sheriff’s office did not provide additional information. The case will be referred to the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office for review.
County commissioners are scheduled to meet again 3 p.m. Monday to finalize the budget and once more on Thursday in a joint session with planning commissioners.