CHICO, Calif. – Former Chico City Council members believe the councilors spoke outside of a closed session that resulted in the former city attorney’s dismissal and in violation of the Brown Act.
On February 2, Chico City Council held a closed session to evaluate the city’s lawyer, employee and manager, which resulted in the dismissal of the city’s lawyer.
Karl Ory (right) and Bob Mullholland (left) believe council members spoke in front of closed doors prior to a meeting that resulted in the prosecutor’s dismissal.
“After that meeting we came and reported, we met in a closed session and decided to terminate the current city attorney contract and go back to the company he was actually with,” said Sean Morgan, Chico Councilor.
Former council member Karl Ory believes this is an inappropriate act.
“It is a lack of transparency that it is simply inappropriate for your agenda item to have an evaluation and you have a predetermined majority on the council taking serious action to fire someone,” Ory said.
Dismissal was on the agenda.
Ory believes the city discussed the attorney’s dismissal ahead of the closed session, which violates part of the Brown Act.
“We have asked several councilors to re-submit any communications they have had with other councilors or with a law firm in the past few months,” said Ory.
Ory said he had not heard from the town clerk about obtaining evidence of communication between council members or with the law firm.
The Brown Act states that the majority of council members are not allowed to communicate on the subject outside of the closed session.
Mayor Andrew Coolidge confirmed that there were no talks prior to the closed session.
Former prosecutor Andrew Jared said he was adequately informed of his resignation.