A routine meeting of Corpus Christi City Council received a shock break on Tuesday.
Peter Zanoni, the city administrator, was discussing the COVID-19 pandemic when another voice was heard over the speakers.
“F *** you, Peter,” said Joseph Johnson, the city’s assistant director for parks and beach operations.
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Following the comment, which was broadcast on the city’s live stream, another official asked the virtual attendees to mute their microphones.
Johnson has since apologized to Zanoni and stepped down, according to Corpus Christi officials. His resignation was accepted.
“The city of Corpus Christi expects professionalism from its employees at all times, whether they interact in person or online. The city will continue to hold employees accountable for any actions that are harmful to the organization,” Zanoni said in a statement.
Johnson told the Corpus Christi Caller Times that he was attending the meeting remotely and was unaware that his microphone was on. He said his mundane comment was on the pandemic, not Zanoni, who hired Johnson last year.
“I am genuinely ashamed of my actions yesterday,” Johnson told the Caller-Times. “And I am ashamed of the embarrassment I caused not only to the mayor, the council, Peter Zanoni, co-workers, friends, family and organizations with which I am associated.”
The newspaper reports that Johnson was at home instead of at town hall because he was recently exposed to COVID-19.
Prior to being named City Administrator of Corpus Christi in 2019, Zanoni was Deputy City Administrator of San Antonio.