City of Oakridge looking to seek new city attorney to replace one they lacked confidence in has a new team. City of Oakridge Councilors vote to hire new city Attorney Leahy Cox LLP. It is unclear if they will review controversial issues that prompted the Attorney switch in the first place. It seemed that without a leading CA the City of Oakridge Staff and Fire Department were completely rogue. One issue that faced the city recently was a city employee who filed a complaint with the Oregon State Bar. This city employee seemed to be going completely rogue. The city employee filed a complaint listing the City of Oakridge which was revealed at a recent Oakridge City Council meeting to have done so without consent or appropriate approval from the city itself. The new city Attorney laid out that the City of Oakridge employee did so without their permission and the City as an entity wished to remove itself from any such complaint.
Recently at Oakridge City Council meetings the newly elected Mayor Kathy Holston Nichols allowed this same staff member to call a point of order for a motion terminating the contract with controversial contract with Mike Hansen LLC. The LLC is connected to ethics violations from former City Administrator Louis Gomez who was hired to work for the LLC after renewing its contract for more money. The city employee who brought the Point of Order also works for Hansen LLC, according to the Oakridge City Charter is a public official but is “personnel and not under the supervision of council.” and is also not subject to direction from the City Council, but only by the City Admin. Allowing the Point of Order from a citizen is not allowed according to the Mayor. Allowing the Point of Order Kathy Holston Nichols violated the Oakridge City Charter. When asked for a comment the Mayor said simply “I will do whatever I want”. When asked if this could this be a matter a lawsuit could correct, she said “sue me, do what you need to”.
Many Citizens held out hope that the Mayor could work with the Interim City Administrator Philip Messina to help correct the many ethics violations and corruption that has tarnished the City of Oakridge. This has not been the case. In many situations, the City of Oakridge has faced more controversy. Two parents recently brought an unconscious baby to the Fire Department and no one was available from the staff to even answer the door. The emergency 911 button even failed several times. It seems every person in charge at the City of Oakridge is failing its citizens and it does not seem to have an end. The Oakridge City Charter is not a very in depth document but is a legal document for how the City of Oakridge is ran. It is unclear if Leahy and Cox have acknowledged this refusal to obey the legal document by the City of Oakridge Mayor. We will update this story as it unfolds.
Written by collaborative from TOC