In his desperate attempt to dehumanize and marginalize me, a conniving and ethically misguided Robinson accused me of using a racial slur that he claims he overheard while walking past me in a parking lot, even though the two individuals I was speaking with declared publicly the slur was never used. Rather than confront me privately with what he thought he heard during my private conversation of which he was not a part, and ask if he heard correctly — as any decent and right-thinking person would — Robinson brought his claim before the Council when it suited his political agenda after more than a year. Ethically, what kind of person waits a year to address a grievance of such an awful nature? One who’s playing politics and waiting until a crony (Andrew Hamilton) is voted into office to secure a Council majority so the ambush can begin and I can be demonized based on his word alone. That’s the character of Robinson, and the character of Voigts and Hamilton who would act based on the sole recollection of Robinson of something he thought he overheard while walking past a conversation a year earlier.
To get the most value from his dubious action, I now have reason to believe that it was Robinson who planted an article in the Orange County Register to publicize a “censure” he orchestrated against me. I’m not sure if it’s still the case in 2016, but when Robinson and I were elected in 2012, Robinson had a friend on the editorial board of the Orange County Register; he had access to those who determined what gets published and what doesn’t.
The censure wasn’t reported right away, so I’m sure that Robinson made a phone call; a satellite of the Orange County Register, the Saddleback Valley News, reported on it nearly three weeks later and incorrectly reported: “At the request of Councilman Dwight Robinson, the council – including Nick – voted unanimously on March 3 to censure Nick.” The vote wasn’t unanimous, it was Robinson, Voigts and Hamilton who voted in favor of it, winning 3-2 – which is how the voting often turns out whenever it’s not unanimous. If the reporter had discovered the story on his own, he wouldn’t have made the mistake of reporting it was unanimous; he took a phone call from someone who fed him the information and aimed to inflict maximum damage to me.
Robinson continued to play his political games. After charges against me were dropped for supposedly stealing campaign signs (which also played a role in the “censure”), an online reporter interviewed me while I was negotiating heavy traffic in downtown Los Angeles and asked me how I felt. I told him that I thought Jess Rodriguez from the district attorney’s office was a “rogue officer” and explained the depth of the damage he had inflicted upon me with the following quote in its full context:
“He raped me. He raped my reputation with the force of the law behind him. This man, eight hours a day, ten hours a day, is sitting at his desk, and he can press a button and ruin peoples’ lives. To me that’s more dangerous than me getting raped in downtown Los Angeles.”
I immediately called the reporter back and said I shouldn’t have used the word “rape,” I should have used the word “violate.” He said that nevertheless I had said it and he refused to correct it. Nor did he provide, when he later wrote the story, an addendum that I had acknowledged that I had used the wrong word.
Clearly, my use of the word “rape” was not an intended affront to victims of physical rape, nor did I mean to equate what had happened to me with the everlasting hurt inflicted upon victims of sexual assault.
The saving grace is that I had told this to an online reporter and his article was not going to get much exposure.
Robinson insisted that I apologize and that I do it at a City Council meeting. I told him the article wouldn’t get much traction and any apology from the dais would bring light to my poor choice of word. He said it was “a matter of principle.” At the first opportunity, I apologized from the dais. This is the text of my apology:
“In reference to a recent online article wherein I was quoted, although I used the term ‘rape’ strictly in its meaning of a gross violation of rights, a friend of mine, who’s also a mentor to me, reached out to me, and I realized that some people – and in particular, victims and survivors of sexual assault and physical forcible rape – may think that I was and I am equating my experience with that of theirs. That certainly was not my intention. I deeply apologize.”
Next thing I know, the Orange County Register — which again did not even have a reporter at the Council meeting that night — had written an article about it titled, “Lake Forest Councilman Adam Nick apologizes for ‘raped’ comments.” I have reason to believe that Robinson, through his connections, was the reason for the article to have come about – all aimed at giving maximum exposure to my unfortunate choice of word in hopes that I would be demonized. This is the man who I thought so highly of that I referred to as my “mentor.” How wrong could I be?