City to pay legal costs that could approach $50,000
By Bert Lehman
Clintonville Mayor Judy Magee has agreed to resign as mayor effective Jan. 1, 2016 in exchange for Tricia Rose agreeing to drop the Chapter 17 complaint against Magee.
The Clintonville City Council accepted the agreement at a special council meeting Monday, Sept. 21. As part of accepting the agreement between Magee and Rose the council also agreed “to pay the costs associated with this action.”
The vote was 9-0 with Alderman Brad Rokus excused from the meeting.
The city council met in closed session for about 30 minutes with attorney Jim Kalny of Davis & Kuelthau, S.C., who oversaw the agreement between Magee and Rose.
After reconvening in open session, Kalny spoke about and provided the media with a press release created by Magee and Rose. He also stated the city will have copies of all these documents to be treated as public records to be released.
These records also included a copy of the agreement, which was executed by Magee and Rose.
The press release stated Rose “wishes to inform that public that she filed her complaint to prompt an investigation into Mayor Magee’s actions between the dates of April 2014 and December 2014.”
“I took this on for all the taxpayers in the city of Clintonville and I hope that they understand the necessity of it and play a more active role in their municipal government, as well,” Rose said in the press release.
The press release also stated that Magee “denies all of the allegations included in Ms. Rose’s amended Complaint and admits no wrongdoing; however, the mayor believes it to be in her best interest and in the best interest of the city of Clintonville to resign her position effective Jan. 1, 2016, so that this complaint proceeding can be brought to an end and so that she and the city of Clintonville can move forward.”
According to the agreement, the joint press release was to allow for “Rose to express her rationale for bringing the charges and reason for agreeing to the settlement and the mayor to explain her response and resignation.”
Rose, the publisher of the Clintonville Chronicle, ran against Magee unsuccessfully as a write-in candidate for mayor in 2014.
Magee and Rose also agreed “not to foster additional controversy by intentionally pursuing or responding to press inquiries or making public statements or communications regarding the updated complaint and any matters related to it, including settlement, other than to refer them to the joint press release.”
The agreement also calls for Magee and Rose and any organization they have ownership in to agree not to directly or indirectly take action that is “intended or can reasonably be expected to harm the other party or their reputation or what would reasonably be expected to lead to unfavorable or unwanted publicity for the other party.”
If this part of the agreement is violated, the other party “shall be entitled to liquidated damages.”
In addition to agreeing to resign effective Jan. 1, 2016, the agreement also calls for Magee to not circulate nomination papers for the April 2016 election for the office of mayor.
In addition to withdrawing her complaint, the agreement states Rose “will not be entitled to file any subsequent complaint against the mayor for any matters occurring on or before the date of acceptance of this agreement by the city council.”
There was also a stipulation that the agreement between Magee and Rose was “contingent upon the condition that the common council of the city of Clintonville will agree to and shall pay all costs associated with the Chapter 17 hearing through the point of completion of the terms of the conditions of the settlement. Included in these costs will be the cost of counsel for the common council, the repayment/release of any bond posted by Rose and any public notice of publication costs incurred by the city. The parties shall provide an estimate of their costs to the city prior to any vote of the council regarding this memorandum.”
Estimated costs were not released at the special city council meeting. The Tribune-Gazette contacted Clintonville City Administrator Chuck Kell who said the city hasn’t received all the invoices yet, but the final cost could approach $50,000. This amount covers legal fees for the city, Magee and Rose.