NEWPORT –– Newport Mayor Beth Barnes announced her resignation on Monday, citing a hostile working environment marked by berating, intimidation, and bullying.
On her first day in office, the mayor recalled being told by the city manager, “People will want to see you fail.”
This sentiment, she claimed, encapsulated her 75-day tenure, where she found herself under constant criticism, at times even facing what she perceived as threats.
Mayor Barnes described a series of incidents, some involving violations of executive session protocol, where she claims she was “commanded” and “forbidden” to perform certain duties. This led to a feeling of isolation and of being thwarted in her mission to serve the Newport community.
“The people who wanted to see me fail have clearly won, by their definition,” she said during her resignation address. She expressed her belief that despite the challenges she faced, the people of Newport wanted to see her succeed in her role.
In spite of her resignation, she pledged to continue serving the community with the same dedication and enthusiasm as she did while holding office.
The resignation marks a turbulent end to a tenure that promised a fresh perspective and energetic leadership for Newport.
The city now awaits the next steps in filling the vacant mayoral seat.
Her resignation speech can be viewed below: