Everyone has a pun, apparently, and when the subject for fodder includes, the oft-tony city of San Marino, her mayor, politely bagged dog defecation and the walkway of a frequent political adversary, there seems to be a never-exhausted supply.
Starved for fresh news just hours after San Marino High School’s graduation – the official start of summer in the 91108 – Mayor Dennis Kneier handed the community, nay, the world a turkey leg that will take a while to gnaw through after home surveillance cameras caught him tossing a bag of dog excrement onto the walkway of Philip Lao, who lives five houses west of Kneier and has been opposed to several of Kneier’s projects.
“I guess he just wanted to teach me a lesson,” said Lao, who has been on opposite sides of the aisle from Kneier on matters such as proposed bike lanes in San Marino as well as, ironically, a dog-only recreation area in Lacy Park, which is just a couple hundred feet from Lao’s property line.
The Tribune received a copy of Lao’s footage at 3:02 a.m. Sunday – just a little more than nine hours after the incident occured (does that mean we had a scoop?) as Kneier and his wife, Liz, were walking home from Lacy Park.
In the video, Liz Kneier appears to point towards the walkway after which her husband – who is following approximately eight feet behind – tosses the bag towards Lao’s house and continues walking eastbound.
When contacted at his home on Monday afternoon, Kneier was surprised that the event had made it to the public. Kneier read a letter of apology he had delivered to Lao that stated he “noticed a bag of dog waste in your west parkway near the lamp post. Rather than leave it or dispose of it properly, I placed it on your side walkway. This was a mistake, for which I apologize. It won’t happen again.”
The lamp post is visible in the video, but Kneier does not appear to be retrieving anything from the immediate area. On Tuesday, Liz Kneier told The Tribune they found the bag “down the street, closer to the corner house.”
Lao said Kneier has complained to him about a ‘No Poop Zone’ sign Lao keeps outside his home and felt the stunt was retaliation for refusing to remove it.
“I have told Dennis that until you get rid of the UCLA, USC and Cal banners on peoples’ homes in San Marino, I am going to keep it.”
Liz Kneier said the couple have received “nothing but supportive comments,” but several residents have told The Tribune that Kneier should resign immediately.
“I’ll make it short and to the point: Kneier must go,” said one resident in an email. “In one weak moment of character, Mayor Kneier destroyed any difference and separation between ‘us’ and ‘everyone else.’”
“He is no longer credible and effective in the office of mayor,” said another. “He should step down.”
Meanwhile, news vans from KABC7 (Lao) and NBC4 (Kneier) squatted (ugh!) outside the homes of the story’s two main characters as the story has gone viral, in the vernacular of a new millennium.
An independent camera crew set up shop on Lao’s sidewalk Tuesday afternoon looking for something, anything to doo. (No!)
“It is an ongoing investigation,” San Marino Police Chief Tim Harrigan said on Monday. “We have reviewed the video surveillance and spoken with both parties.”
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