City Council Affirms Firing of City Attorney - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

City Council Affirms Firing of City Attorney

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City Manager Cindy Hemphill & Mayor Curt Zimbelman during discussion of firing of city attorney City Manager Cindy Hemphill & Mayor Curt Zimbelman during discussion of firing of city attorney
"I'll see you in court."

With those words, the former city attorney for Minot promised the full city council legal action over her dismissal.

Colleen Auer appeared at the end of the monthly council meeting, demanding to know when the council had met to decide to fire her.

She quoted the city code which says the city manager cannot hire or fire department heads without consulting with the city council.

Interim City Manager Cindy Hemphill said there had been no meeting.

Hemphill fired Auer late Friday and told her the council had made the decision.

Tonight, Auer asked Hemphill about that statement.

(Cindy Hemphill, Interim Minot City Manager) "When I addressed you on Friday afternoon I stated the council and what I meant to say, I misspoke, is that I had discussed it with the president of the city council and he was aware of the actions I was going to take."

Former city attorney Auer then reminded the council that the city code says such an action requires a vote the full city council, and thus Hemphill's actions were illegal.

City Council President Jim Hatlelid then took to the microphone, and made a motion that passed unanimously.(Jim Hatlelid, City Council President) "I would move that this council ratify the action of the acting city manager on Friday."

(City Clerk calling roll) (Curt Zimbelman, Minot Mayor) Motion passed. (Colleen Auer, Former City Attorney) "OK, I guess I'll see you in court."

That was the voice of fired city attorney Colleen Auer.

She says she will continue her wrongful termination claim against the city with the Department of Labor and will pursue a lawsuit against the city as well.

Before adjournment,  the council also passed a motion to allow the city manager to contract for legal help (this is a correction from earlier) while the city is without an attorney.
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