Council prepares for controversial special meeting

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Updated: 4/04/2013 3:35 am
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. 
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Liberty Seeker - 4/4/2013 12:03 PM
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Dumbauld formally answers to the council, but she and all other public servants MUST answer to the public. Everyone should have the same right to request information from any municipal official or employee, and receive responses with no more, or no less respect and/or speed than citizen/councilman Hernandez. According to my tests, roughly 10% of my requests to the city manager are answered within a week, the mayor was too weak in either body or mind due to his diseased heart to hit the reply icon on all of my emails (0% direct replies), roughly 20% of requests to Hernandez are replied, but no accurate answers were given to me (merely generic & passing the buck). I must extrapolate that all of city hall is equally substandard when answering the council and the people, otherwise the entire council would be accepting services on terms more favorable than granted to the public in criminal violation of the city charter (Article IX Section 4). Assuming that the council is not the organized criminal syndicate as suspected, Hernandez is frustrated that over 90% of his requests are never answered in a friendly, accurate, or timely manner. I recommend replacement of everyone in city hall, starting with those who receive 6 figure salaries.
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