Council extends paid leave to prepare an exit strategy for city manager
Last updated 9/26/2018 at Noon
Members of the Mill Creek City Council emerged from an extended executive session on Tuesday, Sept. 25, with a strategy they hope will avoid an expensive legal battle regarding the termination of the city manager.
The council voted unanimously to extend the paid administrative leave for Rebecca Polizzotto until at least Oct. 2. The extra week was approved to allow time for City Attorney Scott Missall to contact the attorney representing the city manager to resolve the matter.
The city attorney was also asked to draft a resolution for the council to terminate the final portion of the three-year contract Polizzotto signed when she accepted the position in 2015.
Missell cautioned councilmembers to not comment on the situation regarding the city manager until it has been resolved. Polizzotto filed a nine-page complaint against the city in August asking for $1 million in damages for “breach of contract, defamation and indifference.”
Former Councilmember Mary Kay Voss admonished the council during the audience participation portion of the meeting, saying the council has known what needed to be done for six months.
Polizzotto has not been seen in City Hall since mid-April following separate investigations into charges she had misused city-issued credit cards and that she used intimidation to create a hostile work environment employees in City Hall.
Voss went to use her time at the podium to ask why the Executive Session had been removed from the published agenda the afternoon before the meeting. She blamed Mayor Pam Pruitt for having the item removed in an effort to reduce the size of the crowd expected to attend the meeting. Her accusations were confirmed by members of the city staff.
When contacted for clarification by The Beacon, the mayor denied being responsible for removing the item that had been on an earlier version of the council agenda, referring the matter to the city attorney.
"I was fully prepared to ask Scott why the item had been removed from the agenda, but he arrived after the start of the meeting," Pruitt told The Beacon. "Ask Scott why it was taken off. He was either responsible for the last-minute change, or knows who was."
Missall declined to comment.
The council also is expected to address the contract of Interim City Manager Bob Stowe when it meets again on Oct. 2.