Thursday, November 16, 2017

"Terminated" City Manager Back On the Job Thursday

Sallisaw City Manager Clayton Lucas II is back on the job.

“I am at work,” Lucas said Thursday morning.

The city manager was dismissed by a three to two vote of the city commission at the commission meeting on Monday.

But Lucas said he was told Wednesday that the city commissioners did “not follow the procedures for termination as are in the city charter.”

According to the Sallisaw City Charter, in Article 4, Section 2, on page 8, “The Board of Commissioners may suspend or remove the City Manager at any time by majority vote of all of its members, provided, that the Board of Commissioners shall give the City Manager written statement of the reason(s) for suspension or removal at least thirty days prior to the effective date of said suspension or removal and, shall upon request, give the City Manager an opportunity for a public hearing thereon, after the expiration of such notice, before suspension or removal.”

The entire Sallisaw City Charter can be found online.

Lucas was not given a reason for his firing 30 days before, and was not given a termination date.

The city commissioners who voted to fire Lucas are Mayor Jim Hudgens, Ward 1 Commissioner Ronnie Lowe and Ward 2 Commissioner Ro Poindexter. Those who voted against firing Lucas are Ward 4 Commissioner Daryl Legg and Ward 3 Commissioner Julian Mendiola.

Lucas said Thursday morning, “I do hope to do what is best for the city and the community. I want to continue moving our city forward with the help of our employees, our city leaders and our residents.”

Lucas said that, of course, he has no idea if his dismissal will be on the next city agenda. He said Hudgens had him put his own dismissal on Monday’s agenda, but would not give him a reason for the dismissal. Hudgens said before Monday’s meeting he would not discuss personnel issues, which is allowed by law for the protection of both the employer and employee.

Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director

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