An email to Bainbridge Island officials alleges ethical violations by Mayor Rasham Nassar and Councilmember Michael Pollock.
Nassar said her divorce is what has spurred on the allegations. “I am going through a difficult divorce. Unfortunately, my husband has chosen to broadcast his version of events to our community in an attack on my reputation,” she says in an email Tuesday to The Review.
Nassar said this experience makes her want to fight to help others all the more. “This personal experience of hardship is helping me understand the varying degrees of abuse that so many in our community endure. It has inspired me to work towards ensuring that victims of abuse have adequate resources and community support, especially for those with lower incomes.”
Pollock, in a separate email to The Review, says it’s not the first time he’s faced personal attacks while on the City Council. “I am no stranger to false allegations and character attacks in response to my strong stance on issues that matter most to Islanders, such as controlling growth and protecting our natural resources.”
Like Nassar, he says he plans to fight on. “My focus remains on the business of the community and in maintaining a positive and professional working relationship with my colleagues.”
The email was sent by longtime community activist Bobbie Morgan to Councilmembers Christy Carr, Joe Deets, Leslie Schneider and Kirsten Hytopoulos, along with City Manager Blair King.
In it Morgan alleges a personal relationship between Nassar and Pollock. She is concerned about their past and future votes on the council as a result. She said the information is becoming well-known in the community, but has not been affirmed by either of them. Morgan encourages public officials to take appropriate action.
Pollock expressed sympathy for Nassar’s situation. “It is unfortunate that rumors promulgated by Ms. Nassar’s ex-husband have found their way to the public record. I wish all the best to Ms. Nassar and her family as they work through a difficult time and hope that the public will respect their privacy.”
Nassar also asked for support. “As my husband and I continue to separate, my priority is to provide a safe and stable environment for my two young children. In the meantime, I ask for privacy and grace as I navigate this difficult process, and thank my family, friends and colleagues for their support in that regard.”