ARTICLE

City Hall critic charged with assaulting city manager's assistant

Disturbance stemmed from issues over flood-recovery benefits for Kuzela's home

We Can Do Better CR founder Lisa Kuzela watches the results of the local option sales tax vote with other opponents at Buffalo Wild Wings in Cedar Rapids on Tuesday, March 6, 2012. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)
We Can Do Better CR founder Lisa Kuzela watches the results of the local option sales tax vote with other opponents at Buffalo Wild Wings in Cedar Rapids on Tuesday, March 6, 2012. (Cliff Jette/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — City Hall critic Lisa Kuzela, who has accused city officials of wrongdoing and who has been a visible, vocal opponent of extending the local-option sales tax for flood protection, has been charged with assaulting a special assistant to the city manager at City Hall.

The encounter between Kuzela, 49, 341 Carter St. NW, and Sandi Fowler, 45, special assistant to City Manager Jeff Pomeranz, took place about 1:40 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall.

According to the Cedar Rapids Police Department report, Fowler had picked up the phone to summon police because of a “verbal disturbance” that Kuzela allegedly was causing at City Hall. Kuzela then “struck her (Fowler) in the face and the phone dropped,” the police report states. The report states that city employees called police a second time to report that a verbal disturbance had turned physical.

Fowler did not require medical attention, police said.

Police informed Kuzela on Wednesday that she had been charged with simple assault. She was not arrested, but signed paperwork related to the charge.

In a phone interview on Thursday, Kuzela denied she assaulted Fowler.

In addition, the report states that Kuzela was in a minor traffic accident near City Hall at some point before or after the disturbance. The parties in the accident exchanged information, but no charges were filed, police said.

City officials said the disturbance involved issues around flood-recovery benefits for Kuzela and her flood-damaged home at 726 Eighth St. NW.

Kuzela served on the Cedar Rapids school board in 2008 and 2009. 

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