Four city employees, including Killeen Finance Director Barbara Gonzales, ended their employment with the city of Killeen on Wednesday following a two-month-long internal investigation of the city’s Fleet Services Division.
The fleet services division handles the maintenance and repair of all city vehicles.
“The internal investigation of fleet services revealed mismanagement and misappropriation of city time and equipment,” city spokeswoman Hilary Shine said.
Two of the employees were asked to resign and did not, so the city took action, Shine added.
Gonzales was terminated, Fleet Services Director Kim Randall retired, fleet services technician David Riddle resigned and fleet services technician John Acker was terminated.
None of the employees were under contract, and no settlements were negotiated, Shine said.
City policy states that if an employee resigns, he or she gives up the right to appeal the termination. Employees who are terminated are allowed five days to appeal.
“After much deliberation, I have decided that this separation is in the best interest of the city of Killeen,” Killeen City Manager Glenn Morrison said. “Change is never easy, but I am confident that our finance staff will ensure that departmental services continue during this transition.”
The four city employees had been on administrative leave since Oct. 5.
Gonzales has retained an attorney but has yet to file a lawsuit with the city.
“In a closed session last night, the council was briefed on the possibility of litigation regarding these matters,” Killeen Mayor Dan Corbin said Wednesday.
“I’ve been kept informed of the investigation throughout. The council fully supports the decisions of the city manager.”
Corbin said that, because two of the employees have hired lawyers, the council expects there will be litigation.
The city hired Gonzales as assistant director of finance in 1990, where she served until 1995.
Gonzales was rehired by the city in 2003 and former City Manager Connie Green promoted Gonzales to head of the finance department in 2007.
As finance director, Gonzales was in charge of fiscal management for the city.
She also provided oversight for several city departments, including the fleet services division.
Randall was hired in 1988 and was promoted to director of fleet services in 2003.
Martie Gillespie has been appointed interim director of finance and Erich Morsbach has been appointed interim fleet services director until permanent replacements are selected, according to a city news release.