The Clintonville City Council voted Tuesday night to put City Administrator Lisa Kotter on immediate administrative leave with pay.
The motion says she will remain on leave until an attorney provides information to the council.
The vote was 7-3 with aldermen Mark Doornink, Phil Rath and Bill Zienert voting no.
After the meeting, Mayor Judy Magee said there is no time table for seeking this information, as she didn’t know what attorney Bob Burns’ schedule is. She said that is something Burns and City Attorney April Dunlavy will have to work out.
Kotter was not present when the council came out of close session and the motion was announced.
Earlier in the meeting, the council voted 6-4 to strike an item from the agenda that would have allowed Kotter to meet with the council in closed session regarding performance and investigation. Alderman Doornink, Rath, Zienert and Jerry Jorgenson voted no.
During the discussion, Kotter stated her reason for wanting to meet with the council.
“We’ve been having discussions about me and my position for two months and I’m simply asking for my employer, the 11 of you to give me an opportunity to speak to you,” Kotter said. “You didn’t want to talk about it last month in open session, and I would think if any other employee asked to have an opportunity to speak to you, that you would afford them that opportunity. This has been going on for two months. None of you have had an opportunity to speak to me and I haven’t had an opportunity to speak to you.”
Alderwoman Mary Beth Kuester said the problem was it would involve things discussed in closed session. She said in order to speak with her the council would have to discuss things that were discussed in closed session.
Magee told the council Kotter was not going to ask questions.
“She’s going to give you statements so that you hear her side,” Magee said.
Kuester reiterated the council was advised by the city attorney and the special counsel not to discuss closed session items.
Kotter responded, “I have no idea what you were told. You don’t have to tell me what you were told. But my gut feeling is you don’t know my side of the story. I think we have a pretty big legal issue when things are going on for months, and months, and months, and you’ve never spoken to me. I want to talk to you about the five things. You don’t have to say a word back to me. You don’t have to say anything that happened in closed session. I can not believe that 10 people employ someone and don’t want to hear what an employee has to say.”
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