The Portsmouth City Council will hold a Special Session meeting on Saturday, January 27 at 9 a.m. for the sole purpose of mediation only. Item 7 on Saturday’s Special Session agenda reads: “A Special Session has been called for the purpose of going into Executive Session to discuss personnel matters including suspension, termination and employee contractual issues and to discuss potential litigation. Mediation will be conducted by Judge Don Cox”.
According to an email from Portsmouth City Clerk Diana Ratliff, Council will begin the meeting as normal and there will be a roll call, Council will then motion to go into Executive Session for the purpose of mediation.
This is the second Special Session being held for mediation purposes, with the first session taking place last Saturday, January 20th, at 9 a.m. These two Saturday meetings of the City Council are an effort for Council and the currently suspended City Manager, Derek Allen to reach a mutual agreement or resolution between the two parties. Allen was terminated by City Council in December 2017, and since then has had his employee status altered from terminated to suspended with pay backdated to the date of his original termination.
According to the City Solicitor, John Haas, if Council and Allen do not come to an agreement at the conclusion of the mediation sessions a public hearing will be the next course of action.
The mediation session will be held in regular Council Chambers.