The Orange County Register reported yesterday that the City of Westminster has placed its City Manager Mitch Waller on paid leave. Following a 40 minute special closed session meeting, the Council gave Waller a choice; retire or be fired.
According to the Register story:
Waller, a former Westminster police chief who has worked for the city for 29 years, will be on paid leave until “he retires or is terminated,” Mayor Margie Rice said.
City Council members declined to say after the meeting why they voted to take the action against Waller. In an interview prior to the closed session, Rice was critical of Waller’s “management style.”
The mayor accused Waller of leaving the council out of the decision-making process during the recent layoffs, but did not blame him for the city’s financial budget woes.
“He can’t help that,” she said.
“They worked out this layoff plan but they didn’t even figure out how they were going to serve the public,” Rice said. “We don’t even have anybody at the desk up front. It’s going to be whoever is assigned up there that day. The lady who was there, at the front desk, was laid off.”
The City Council named Assistant City Manager Eddie Manfro as the interim manager.