PORTLAND, Maine (CelebrityAccess) The city council in Portland, Maine, met Monday night to have a first-reading of its recommendation to rescind a contract with concert promoter Alex Gray, who pleaded guilty to domestic violence assault in October. The meeting arrived the same day three women city councilors in Bangor ran an OpEd in Bangor Daily News about the situation.
Portland City Council has unanimously endorsed a fourth summer season of concerts at the city-owned Maine State Pier that would be promoted by Gray’s Waterfront Concerts, according to the Portland Press-Herald. However, Gray’s alleged victim, ex-girlfriend Erica Cohl, published a blog last week detailing her experience and calling on the city to reconsider the endorsement.
The blog post caused a backlash against Gray, according to the paper, and Mayor Ethan Strimling said he’d push for the council to rescind its recommended contract. Meanwhile, Bangor has a 10-year contract with Waterfront Concerts that was signed a month before Gray’s guilty plea. Bangor officials are considering extending that contract, wanting to build a permanent outdoor concert venue next to the Penobscot River, according to the Press Herald.
Monday’s meeting was well-attended by current and former employees of Waterfront Concerts on the Maine State Pier, the paper said.
“It is high time for Waterfront Concerts to think hard on whether it wants someone guilty of domestic violence representing its brand and presence in this community,” Bangor City Councilors Clare Davitt, Sarah Nichols and Laura Supica wrote in a statement to the Bangor Daily News.
Separately, in the OpEd, the three councilors said they “hear the call for action” and “must do more to address domestic violence in our city.”
Their proposals reportedly include strengthening and mandating extensive workplace training on domestic violence prevention and sexual assault.
After his guilty plea in October, Gray denied the specifics of the allegations, saying that if he had actually banged Cole’s head against the floor as he was accused, “I’d be standing here on a murder charge,” the Press-Herald said.
“Since being assaulted, I’ve undergone dental work on my right side because of my now offset bite,” Cole wrote. “My dental work, along with my ambulance and emergency room bills, still weigh on me financially as I write this letter.”
Gray can get the plea withdrawn if he abides by 22-court-ordered conditions, including not contracting Cole.
No debate or public comment was allowed at the Monday meeting, but is expected to be included in the next one, April 18.