"He comes into my office 15 minutes before the meeting begins and he muscles me," Stenger said. "He said, 'This (the casino) is the largest investment your district has ever seen or will ever see. And we are asking you to vote no (on the North County rezoning issue).'"Then, when Stenger cast his vote in favor of re-zoning-- against Lee's advice-- the casino boss interrupted the meeting, tried to get in the council rep's face, and started making threats.
Stenger said he could not understand why Lee would take an interest in the matter. From his perspective, he said, the Lemay casino and a potential North County gambling center would be too far apart to compete.
"I asked Lee why he cared, but he would only say, 'Voting no is the right decision to make. You need to vote no.'" Stenger said.
Stenger said Lee then approached Stenger's assistant, Linda Henry, who was seated at the side of the dais.Lee has since apologized via e-mail for "making anyone uncomfortable" and his "passionate discussion of the issue."
"Lee says to her, loud enough for everyone to hear, 'He (Stenger) just made the worst move in his political career! I won't forget this! I never forget things like this!'" Stenger said.
Henry confirmed the incident. "He said it very menacingly," she added. "I felt threatened."