Following five months of controversy surrounding comments made by Los Altos Councilwoman Lynette Lee Eng about activist Kenan Moos, an attempt at mediation — something which many hoped would bring peace to the issue — was terminated by the mediator, whose identity is currently confidential.
At a council meeting in November, Lee Eng falsely accused Moos of threatening her family, following a vote on police reform measures.
Since then, Moos has called for Lee Eng’s resignation, and his calls have been joined by dozens of other Los Altos residents at recent council meetings.
“The city was informed yesterday that the agreed upon mediator had terminated the process,” said Mayor Neysa Fligor at a city council meeting this week. “The reason for termination was not disclosed to the city. Although we are very disappointed in this particular process, we are still hopeful that both parties can resolve this matter.”
Moos said that his relationship with Lee Eng was amicable prior to that November meeting. Lee Eng even claimed to have attended a Black Lives Matter march organized by Moos last June, but he said he has no recollection of meeting her there.
“This is not the first time someone has criminalized me,” Moos said in an interview. “All the stuff I do has been diminished because she applies the label of a ‘scary black man.’ I literally have to humanize myself to others now.”
Although the events that occurred during mediation are confidential, it is unusual for a mediation between two parties to be terminated. If a mediation is terminated by a mediator, it is often due to a perception that one party involved is not there in good faith, or that the mediation can not be productive.
“One person has been very open on speaking this whole time, and has stood on the policy of conversation, and that’s me,” Moos said. “I have said let’s talk. It’s been five months, and not a single word has been said. I’m not saying who necessarily ended it, because technically it was ended by the mediator. But there are few reasons mediation gets terminated. Just look at everything that’s happened.”
During nearly all public comments calling on Lee Eng to apologize or resign over the past five months, many have accused her of failing to look up at her computer screen on Zoom — something which they say shows that she’s not listening.
“It has proven to be a very difficult year for him, and this has made it even more so,” said Toni Moos, mother of Kenan Moos, failing to hold back tears during the meeting. “Lynette, please look at the camera. It is time to apologize for making my son a target, for allowing the hatred that he is encountering. Look up Lynette! Please!”
Lee Eng did not reply to multiple requests for comment.