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Austin official on leave amid probe into training on women

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — An Austin city official has been suspended while an investigation is conducted into a seminar for municipal staff on how to deal with women that left the city’s female-majority City Council fuming.

Assistant City Manager Anthony Snipes, who organized the session, will be on leave until the end of the investigation, the Austin American-Statesman (http://atxne.ws/1Fo6sZf ) reported.

In a Thursday memo, Austin City Manager Marc Ott told the mayor and City Council that the investigation is focusing on how the training “was implemented without the appropriate vetting.”

Ott has apologized for the session. City officials had said the workshop was organized because women control the City Council for the first time.

The male consultant who led the session said elected female officials like to ask lots of questions and tend to tune out financial arguments. He also suggested women aren’t as likely to go through agenda packets to find answers to questions they’re asking.

At a Wednesday news conference, the seven women on the City Council criticized the seminar as being outdated and appalling. They say they hadn’t heard about it until this week, when the newspaper published a story about the seminar.

An email seeking comment was sent to Snipes early Friday.

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Information from: Austin American-Statesman, http://www.statesman.com

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