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Mayor Of Affluent Southern California Town Resigns After Dog Poop Scandal

The mayor of San Marino, Dennis Kneier, resigned on Tuesday after he was caught on a surveillance camera tossing a bag of dog poop into a neighbor's yard.

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Surveillance camera video released last week caught the mayor tossing a bag of dog poop onto a neighbor's yard on June 7, seconds after his wife pointed at the spot.

View this video on YouTube

After the video was released, Kneier apologized and claimed he tossed the bag in "a moment of stupidity," because he was simply tired of carrying it.

"I'm the kind of guy that's always picking up trash and I reached down and picked it up and I am walking down the street ... and in a moment of stupidity, I guess I was tired of carrying it, I disposed of it on his walkway. It was a mistake," the mayor said.


His neighbor and political opponent, Phillip Lao, said the dog poop was purposefully thrown on his yard in retaliation for opposing a neighborhood dog park the mayor wanted built.

Lao reported the incident to the police and released the video on June 7. Officers later fined the mayor $1,000 for littering.

"I have apologized to my neighbor for my action, and I will pay a fine for littering," Kneier wrote in his resignation letter. "These events continue to be embarrassing to me and to the city. Because of this, I have decided to step down as mayor."

The mayor's actions also led to the threat of a lawsuit and a fine. On June 11, there was a heated town hall meeting with some residents pushing for the mayor's resignation, while others continued to support him.

"It's such a safe, beautiful place to live," resident Andrea Patzakis told KNBC-TV. "Thank god these are the problems we have to deal with."

The mayor will stay on as a city councilmember and be immediately replaced by Vice Mayor Eugene Sun, who will act as mayor through June 27, the Pasadena Star News reported. The council will meet next week and select a new mayor and vice mayor.

Michelle Broder Van Dyke is a reporter and night editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Hawaii.

Contact Michelle Broder Van Dyke at

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