NORTHFIELD VILLAGE — A village council member and mayoral candidate is facing possible censure by other council members in connection with allegations that he posted offensive videos on social media sites.
Council has scheduled a special meeting to conduct a hearing on the allegations against Ward B Council Member Keith Czerr on Wednesday, Oct. 16, at 6:30 p.m.
Czerr’s current term does not end until Nov. 30, 2022, but he is challenging Mayor Jesse Nehez’s bid for a third term on the Nov. 5 general election ballot.
The hearing was scheduled after Ward A Council Member Alan Hipps made a motion at Council’s Oct. 9 regular meeting to censure Czerr "for conduct unbecoming an elected official for the production and posting for public view of videos containing crude content related to the sexual assault of women and racially offensive generalizations and stereotypes," according to a statement from the village announcing the meeting.
Council President Nicholas Magistrelli seconded the motion and the motion was approved.
Czerr referred a request for additional comment to an attorney, who said he was unable to comment.
Hipps said the videos were posted on social media sites, including YouTube and Facebook. He said they have been removed, but he has copies. They are expected to be produced as evidence at the Oct. 16 hearing.
Village Law Director Brad Bryan said that under the village’s charter, a public hearing must be held within 15 days of a motion to censure. Under the charter, the allegations will be presented before the public and Czerr will have the opportunity to respond.
A closed-door executive session is scheduled after the hearing to consider the matter, followed by a vote in public on the censure motion.
If Council votes to censure with at least four members, there would be a public reprimand either from the law director or council president at the next regularly scheduled council meeting.
Additional penalties possible under the charter could include loss of pay for up to four months and loss of committee chairmanship, committee membership and/or seniority, with each proposed penalty subject to a vote.
Reporter Jeff Saunders can be reached at 330-541-9431, firstname.lastname@example.org or @JeffSaunders_RP.