Austin official resigns in wake of women training scandal


Assistant City Manager Anthony Snipes has resigned following widespread criticism and national media attention over a training session he organized that focused on how to work with the female-majority Austin City Council. The training included comments that were widely perceived to be sexist and stereotypical comments about women.

City Manager Marc Ott confirmed Snipes’ resignation Tuesday in a memo sent to Mayor Steve Adler and the other City Council members. Ott previously put Snipes on paid administrative leave pending the results of an internal investigation into the March 27 training session.

Ott said in his memo that after he received a “verbal briefing” from the internal team investigating this incident, he met with Snipes to discuss the circumstances of the training.

“Based on that conversation, Mr. Snipes has tendered his resignation and I have accepted,” Ott wrote in the memo.

Snipes’ last day will be Aug. 10, and Ott said he will use his remaining time with the city to transition his “vital projects, programs and work tasks to applicable staff.”

The full results of the investigative report are still unknown; Ott said he had more questions for the team to answer and he expected a final report to be issued “within the week.”

Much of the initial blame for the training session fell on Snipes because he was the organizer and he told the audience he had heard a version of this training session before.

The American-Statesman revealed May 12, through a post on its City Blog, that the city had quietly held a training session for city staff in March on how to work with a female-majority City Council. The session was filmed and placed on the city’s website. The two Florida-based speakers offered generalizations about working with female leaders, saying that women ask a lot of questions, don’t like financial-based arguments and can be more emotion-driven than men.

(The speakers have released a statement saying they felt their comments were taken “out of context” while also apologizing for any miscommunication.)

The women on the City Council quickly responded with their own press conference denouncing the training as offensive and insulting. There are seven women and three men on the City Council, plus the mayor. It’s the first majority-female City Council in Austin’s history.

Reached by phone Tuesday evening, Council Member Leslie Pool said “the whole thing is unfortunate all the way around” while declining to comment on Snipes’ resignation.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Opinion: Playboy comes to D.C.

Playboy Enterprises just announced that it has purchased a table at this year’s White House Correspondents Association dinner. Swell. Just what we need. The dinner, as you’ve probably heard, is an annual ritual of narcissism in which leading press figures don black tie and hope to see, or better yet, be seen with, Hollywood stars. Like...
California murder suspect arrested after SWAT standoff in Pflugerville
California murder suspect arrested after SWAT standoff in Pflugerville

A California man suspected of fatally stabbing his ex-girlfriend earlier this week was arrested in Pflugerville on Saturday after an hourslong standoff with SWAT officers. Kevin Darnell Dickson, 55, was taken into custody by the U.S. Marshals Lone Star Fugitive Task Force and Austin police at about 1 p.m. Saturday. He had been barricaded inside a home...
Austin area dodges severe storms, drought conditions remain

Austin on Saturday dodged severe storms that had been forecast for the region, with only light drizzle falling in parts of the metro area in the morning, which did little to alleviate dry conditions in the region. The National Weather Service on Saturday morning had warned of a potential for severe storms with possible hail and damaging winds in a...
2 pedestrians struck, killed on I-35 in separate incidents

AUSTIN 2 struck, killed on I-35 in separate incidents A man and a woman walking on Interstate 35 were struck by vehicles and killed in two separate incidents Saturday, Austin-Travis County EMS officials said. Medics first responded at 3:42 a.m. to a South Austin vehicle-pedestrian crash in the 8100 block of south I-35 along the frontage road north...
At funeral, Barbara Bush called ‘first lady of the greatest generation’
At funeral, Barbara Bush called ‘first lady of the greatest generation’

Barbara Bush was remembered as the “first lady of the greatest generation” during a funeral Saturday attended by four former U.S. presidents and roughly 1,500 other people who filled the church with laughter as much as with tears, with many recalling her quick wit and devotion to family. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush joked that his mother...
More Stories