Lawsuit: A Fact Check

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Posting on behalf of Kim Rosenberg

Lawsuit: A Fact Check

Less than a month after being sworn in—February 2023, the former mayor called her lawyer, and her lawyer called the city’s attorney incurring legal fees which have continued to accrue since then. I wrote about that awhile back.

The city of Manzanita is our attorney’s client. Council and the mayor act as agents of the city while in office, so it’s odd that a mayor would use a personal lawyer for anything to do with city business, but that’s what happened.

An executive session was scheduled near the end of February. There was no employee complaint at the time.

The city’s attorney duty is to protect the city’s interests and once the mayor involved her lawyer, it must have been clear that all was not well in Manzanita. I mean, when a volunteer member of a governing body for a town of about 600 residents shows up with their personal lawyer in tow, it probably isn’t a good sign.

The employee complaint wasn’t received by the city’s attorney until May and once he and the city’s insurance company saw it, they suggested an independent investigation to protect the city’s interests. Council voted unanimously at the regular meeting in June to approve the expenditure.

It took time for the independent investigation to be completed. I’m sure there were hours of interviews with multiple people to schedule and I assume some people were interviewed more than once.

During the investigation, the mayor continued to use her personal lawyer which increased the workload for both the city attorney and the investigator. That’s one reason why the legal bills and bills for the investigation have grown so large.

In a recent article Cara Mico wrote for the Pioneer and in posts by Randy Kugler and Will Stone on North County News and North Coast BBQ, they’ve each stated that the city manager is involved in a lawsuit with the city.

But, there is no lawsuit. Never has been. Lawsuits are a matter of public record as Mico, Kugler, and Stone all know. It’s an easy thing to fact check. There is no public record because there is no lawsuit. This begs the question—Why would a former journalist, a working journalist and a former city manager continue to repeat something that they straight out know isn’t true about a city employee?

So far, no details have been released about the investigation. The city’s attorney’s job is to protect the city’s interests and he’s taking care to do just that. Anything that you might hear or read about the investigation is speculation or just plain old gossip. The only source of information would be one of the four sitting members of council and they’d need to be willing to disclose privileged information from executive sessions risking censure. And that would beg the question who would want to do that and why?

Kim Rosenberg