Brookings CM Janell Howard apologizes amid theft violation controversary

BROOKINGS, Ore. – Brookings city manager Janell Howard, who was put on paid administrative leave for a non-work related theft charge is finally opening up.

Now, we’re hearing from her directly.

In July 2022, Howard was charged with a misdemeanor for theft.

The Curry County DA‘s office reduced her charge, to a violation, after she pleaded ‘no contest’.

However, documents from the DA‘s office, filed by the Brookings Fred Meyer store’s ‘Loss Prevention Department,’ shows an additional 15 other incidents accusing Howard of theft.

According to the report, the store logged these incidents from April to July of last year, estimating $230 worth of merchandise was stolen.

It’s important to point out, she was only charged in one instance.

Howard was then reinstated as city manager in January by city council.

Here’s what she had to say about the situation.

“I apologize for the impact my personal matters have had on the residents of Brookings and city employees,” Howard said. “These matters have unfortunately caused significant and lengthy disruption to the business we have at the city. I fully understand that my personal matters have eroded the trust of people here in Brookings and I have a lot of work to do to earn back the trust of city employees, including the police department.”

Her apology comes as people have packed city council meetings, asking for the city to terminate Howard’s contract.

We previously told you that a former Brookings police officer resigned because of Howard’s reinstatement.

That officer, Bryan Holmes, tells NBC5 some people in attendance on Monday walked out during her apology, because they felt she was insincere.

City councilor Andy Martin, said he told Howard she should resign and if she didn’t the council should consider taking action.

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NBC5 News reporter Zachary Larsen grew up in Surprise, Arizona. He graduated from Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. At ASU, Zack interned at Arizona Sports 98.7FM and Softball America. During his Junior year, Zack joined the ASU Sports Bureau. He covered the Fiesta Bowl, the Phoenix Open and major basketball tournaments. Zack enjoys working out, creative writing, music, and rooting for his ASU Sun Devils.
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