City Council prepares to dive into uncharted waters concerning allegations made against a colleague, and the waters are becoming even choppier with additional items added to the agenda.
Mayor Glen Robertson called the special meeting to discuss and decide how to handle complaints by high-ranking city staffers against Councilman Victor Hernandez. City Manager Lee Ann Dumbauld and Pam Moon, executive director of finance, claimed the councilman has created a hostile work environment. Dumbauld answers directly to the council.
Hernandez said he's acted within his rights as a city councilman. Mayor Robertson said he favors hiring outside legal counsel if the council decides the claims against Hernandez should be investigated. FOX 34's legal analyst Curtis Parrish said the main question is whether the councilman violated the city charter.
"I do think you might need an outside person to come in and look at the whole situation, and see if there is a violation of the charter," Parrish said. "Now, if there is, if there is an egregious violation of that charter, it's not up to that outside counsel, or even the current City Council to decide what to do. Now it would go through the district court. Now it would go through the district attorney to determine whether or not the allegation was egregious enough to have him removed from office."
At the request of Councilman Hernandez, the meeting agenda also includes considering and taking action regarding a performance evaluation of Dumbauld, and the city's options in connection with her employment. Parrish said the council can discuss the allegations against Hernandez in executive session, but any action must be taken publicly.