“Back off on this ridiculous order to shut down the city. Stop the (expletive) health reports that would make you think that people will be dropping dead on every street corner,” the email said. “The economic chaos you’re creating isn’t justified.”
Steve Lefler, Penzkowski’s attorney, said Monday that his client has received appropriate counseling and the public shouldn’t worry about this happening again.
“This unusual event — the pandemic — impacted him in such a way that he said some things that he obviously now regrets,” Lefler said. “He knows Dr. Pour and feels terrible that she suffered the brunt of his frustration.”
Phil Rooney, a spokesman for the Douglas County Health Department, said Pour would have no comment.
Chief Douglas County Deputy Sheriff Tom Wheeler had said that Pour and other public servants must be able to do their jobs and make difficult decisions without fear of intimidation or physical harm.
“They make those decisions with one common goal, and that’s to protect the public,” Wheeler said at a press conference in April.
Penzkowski served as spokesman and director of communications for Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle. He was a field operations director during Suttle’s election campaign and was named communications director when Suttle took office in June 2009. Before that, Penzkowski worked as a meteorologist at Omaha TV stations KPTM and KETV.
Get the latest in local public safety news with this weekly email.