A heated moment between Sioux Falls city council members this afternoon, re-ignited as a major topic of discussion during the full council meeting a couple hours later.
It also started over transparency.
Councilor Theresa Stehly was gaveled down Tuesday afternoon after speaking out against some of the other council members' behavior.
During general input, Stehly said she has been bullied, intimidated and threatened for talking to media and the public about city issues.
The bullies she’s referring to are other city council members.
This prompted Council Chairman Rex Rolfing to hammer down his gavel multiple times saying this is not the right forum to discuss this.
The incident happened right before the council was going to go into an executive session to talk about ethical behavior, a session that Stehly believed should be have been a public discussion.
"It has to change, and I think our citizens expect more,” says Stehly. “They want things to be out in the open, they want to know what's going on, and I will continue to work to do that.”
During the beginning of Tuesday night’s city council meeting, several people voiced their support towards Stehly saying the council has not been transparent or worked as a team.
"What we've been seeing is a group of people who have been running this thing as if they're cracking the whip as if they're on the old plantation,” says Bruce Danielson of Sioux Falls. “You're not placing your chairs to be a go along, get along team player.”
"Theresa, I have never gotten so many phone calls after the 6 o’clock on my phone stating that they appreciate what you did,” adds Tim Stanga of Sioux Falls. “This is something that Kermit [Staggers] should have done a long time ago, seven years ago because he was bullied."
Theresa did not attend the executive session this afternoon, even though she could have.
City Councilor Greg Neitzert told KDLT News that the incident was unfortunate and frankly, unnecessary.
The crowd at Tuesday night’s meeting thinned out pretty quickly.
About half left, once the public input session was over.