Hundreds of community members attended tonight’s Portsmouth City Council Meeting to voice their grievances with the Council’s decision to dismiss City Manager Derek Allen. After numerous citizens spoke on his behalf, including members from both the Fire Fighters Association and the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 33, the council elected to adjourn to executive session to discuss personnel issues.
On returning from the executive session, Councilman Kevin E. Johnson made a motion to request the City Solicitor John Haas prepare legislation altering the status of City Manager Derek Allen from terminated to paid administrative leave status backdated to December 18, 2017. The Council members voted unanimously to adopt the motion.
During the time that the motion was presented to council former City Manager, Derek Allen, presented each Council Member with a public hearing request.
“What Council decided to do was have the Solicitor, me, prepare legislation for the next meeting (January 8) that would basically, if approved, place Mr. Allen on paid administrative leave instead of being terminated. (If it is a yea vote) He will be suspended, until there is a hearing set. At that time, following the hearing, they will vote on whether to terminate, or remove the suspension, or what ever their desired course of action is,” City Solicitor John Haas, said.
“At this time Allen is still technically terminated, but hopefully at the next meeting it will be rectified to clarify that he is under suspension, rather than terminated, ” Haas stated.
Mayor Kalb commented, “This evening went about exactly like I thought it would. We didn’t really accomplish much or change anything tonight, there was a lot of information presented.”
He agreed he would like to hold a public hearing, however due to charter, Council cannot make that request and the request must come from the City Manager.
“If the vote next week is to change his status, then he has the right to a public hearing and can request that,” said Kalb. “This might be what this is here, if it is that is okay but its a little bit premature. He has to be placed on administrative leave before he can request a hearing.”
Reach: Ivy Potter (740) 353-3101 Extension 1932