• July 30, 2014

Fired city finance director’s appeal hearing set to begin

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Posted: Tuesday, April 23, 2013 4:30 am | Updated: 11:25 am, Thu May 8, 2014.

The city of Killeen personnel review board will hear the appeal Wednesday of Barbara Gonzales, the city’s former city finance director who was fired four months ago.

Gonzales was fired Dec. 12 after two months on paid administrative leave, pending the internal investigation of the city’s motor pool. The investigation led to three other city employees losing their jobs.

The appeal hearing, which is open to the public, will be held at 8:30 a.m. in the council chambers of City Hall, 101 N. College St.

Wednesday’s appeal is separate from the lawsuit filed by the former finance director in the Bell County district court under the Texas Whistleblower Act. She filed the lawsuit after she was fired.

“Barbara is insisting that the hearing be held in public, even though she could have had it remain confidential,” Gonzales’ attorney Bill Aleshire said.

Gonzales’ case will be heard by the five-member personnel hearing board, composed of Frederick Bee, Dirk Davis, Rosa Hereford, Valerie Jordan and Brockley Moore.

Members were picked by Killeen City Manager Glenn Morrison in January.

The members must be of no relation to any past or present paid employees of the city, according to city policy.

After hearing the case, the board can either uphold Gonzales’ termination, reverse the termination based on discrimination or reverse the termination based on whether it was “a disproportionate penalty based on the infraction committed,” according to the policy.

Gonzales’ termination letter, signed by Morrison, said she was fired, “due to a number of issues that have occurred” under her management.

When questioned, the city did not say what issues led to Gonzales’ firing.

“The board is appointed by Morrison, and Morrison has the final decision. Our expectations are pretty low but we will give it a fair shot,” Aleshire said.

The last city personnel hearing was held January 2012, according to the city.

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2 comments:

  • Viktor posted at 2:35 pm on Tue, Apr 23, 2013.

    Viktor Posts: 316

    Barbara sounds like a clever lady. A finance director is probably skilled at documentation. Interestingly while this is ongoing, mayor has time to make endorsements in city's district election. How about some focus on culture of the city departments? There's been a history of personnel issues within city that've been most costly to Killeen's residents. Would a person run their own business or firm without addressing personnel issues when consistent history of firings, complaints, scandalous behavior exists? Yes we get that the mayor has no vote but if you're going to be a effective leader then at least put some focus on the ongoing drama of personnel issues within the city departments. Get some refresher training in place, review policies, procedures with employees or implement new ideas. Be the leader that makes some difference to scale down the waste of time & money that results from repeated lawsuits within the city.

     
  • Eliza posted at 10:21 am on Tue, Apr 23, 2013.

    Eliza Posts: 653

    @ “Barbara is insisting that the hearing be held in public, even though she could have had it remain confidential,” Gonzales’ attorney Bill Aleshire said.
    Gonzales’ case will be heard by the five-member personnel hearing board, composed of Frederick Bee, Dirk Davis, Rosa Hereford, Valerie Jordan and Brockley Moore.
    Members were picked by Killeen City Manager Glenn Morrison in January.


    When you are innocent of all charges,let the people know by having your hearing in public view. Why hide behind closed doors ?

    From what has been stated continually in the articles on the situation of Ms Gonzales,She was given official notice of termination with the charge being ,--“due to a number of issues that have occurred” under her management".-- I think when a person is going to be let go from a position, that they have been allowed to work at for a number of years, The reasons and charges, should be stated precisely.

    It also does not look proper to I would think, anyone, for the person whose name is noted most often pertaining to this problem, is the one who eliminated ,chose who will view the case, and who will also have final decision, on if the person who was fired will be allowed to return to their job or remain fired.

    Its really rather embarrassing. Nearly like an inquisition.