Chris Platzer is the northern California city official who made headlines nationwide for throwing his cat and drinking an alcoholic beverage during an online meeting that was streamed live to the public.
Days later, Platzer told a local newspaper he resigned from his position on Vallejo’s Planning Commission. But a city official told Heavy that as of April 27, Platzer had not submitted a formal letter of resignation to the city council.
The incident happened on April 20 as the seven-person commission met via teleconference to discuss an upcoming building project. Platzer, who was visible on the bottom left-hand corner of the screen, held up his pet before tossing the animal to the side. One commissioner put his face in his hands while the others laughed.
Heavy has reached out to Platzer for comment.
Here’s what you need to know.
Platzer Said ‘I’m Going to Call Bullsh*t On You Little B*tches’ At the End of the Teleconference
Platzer remained on the teleconference after it had officially ended. But the feed was still visible and streaming to the public for least a minute.
At 2:49:27, Platzer said, “I’m going to call bullsh*t on you little b*tches.” He said something else before shutting off his camera but it was unintelligible.
It’s unclear who else remained on the call in the final minute of the stream, which can be viewed here. But according to the city’s attorney, at least three city employees heard Platzer make the derogatory statement before the feed ended.
Platzer Apologized & Said He Is ‘Adjusting to a New Normalcy’
During the April 20 teleconference meeting, Platzer was asked to comment on the project the team was discussing. Platzer said yes before saying, “First, I’d like to introduce my cat.” He held the cat up for a brief moment before throwing the animal off-camera. The cat appeared to squeal as it was tossed.
According to a memo from the city attorney, Platzer was also “observed opening and drinking an alcoholic beverage” during the public portion of the meeting. The Vallejo Times-Herald reported the beverage was a beer.
On April 25, Platzer sent an email to the newspaper to announce he had resigned from the planning commission. The letter included an apology and reference to the stay-at-home order in effect due to the coronavirus:
I did not conduct myself in the Zoom meeting in a manner befitting of a planning commissioner and apologize for any harm I may have inflicted. I serve at the pleasure of the council and no longer have that trust and backing. I extend my gratitude to those who have supported me during my tenure. I have always felt that serving Vallejo in a voluntary position is honorable because Vallejo is worth serving. We are all living in uncertain times and I certainly, like many of you, am adjusting to a new normalcy.
The Vallejo City Council Planned to Discuss Removing Platzer From His Position
Despite the letter to the Vallejo Times-Herald, Platzer had not formally resigned from the planning commission as of April 27, communications and public information officer Christina Lee confirmed to Heavy. His name was still listed on the city’s website as a member of the commission as of this writing. Platzer has been serving on the commission since 2016 and his term was set to expire on June 30.
Lee also confirmed to Heavy that the Vallejo City Council planned to meet on April 28 to discuss removing Platzer from the planning commission. The memo from city attorney Randy J. Risner, which was sent to the mayor of Vallejo as well as city council members, reads in part:
On April 20, 2020, the City of Vallejo Planning Commission held a public meeting via teleconference. The meeting was recorded and is available to the public for viewing. During the public portion of the meeting, Planning Commissioner Platzer was observed opening and drinking an alcoholic beverage and tossing his pet cat through the air.
On April 21, 2020, the City Manager requested a meeting with Mayor Sampayan and with Councilmember Robert McConnell to discuss Commissioner Platzer. Mayor Sampayan and Councilmember McConnell recommending bringing this matter to the full City Council to consider the removal of Commissioner Platzer.
Members of the public have the opportunity to join in on this meeting via teleconference. That link will be available here.
Mayor Bob Sampayan told the Vallejo Times-Herald he felt Platzer’s conduct reflected badly on the city. “The issue for me is his whole demeanor during the entire meeting,” Sampayan said. ““What happens if a developer is watching the meeting (and sees that)? They would obviously have concerns about the city.”
Thomas Judt was the commissioner who put his hands in his face after Platzer threw the cat. Heavy reached out to him for comment about the incident. Judt shared a blog post he published on April 26, in which he described the teleconference as “awkward” and said he laughed out of nervousness. “That clip is as surreal to me now as it was in that moment. In what was an instinctual reaction, as I felt for both the Commissioner and his cat, I placed my hands over my face, ” Judt wrote. “I assure you that I was not laughing because I found the situation at all amusing. The laughter too was a reflexive response that I could not control. As I sat there watching all this unfold on my computer, the incredulity of the situation so overwhelmed me that all I could think to do was to shake my head and attempt to choke back my awkward outburst.”