- Associated Press - Monday, August 11, 2014

DIAMONDHEAD, Miss. (AP) - Diamondhead officially welcomed Clovis Reed as its new city manager Tuesday, but representatives of former Diamondhead City Manager Richard Rose have questioned the legality of the hire.

Attorney Jim Halliday tells The Sun Herald (https://bit.ly/1nHMRnC ) the city jumped the gun in hiring Reed because it has yet to formally terminate Rose.

“They had an interim city manager, which they could, but now they have this big announcement that Diamondhead has hired a new city manager,” he said. “How can they hire a new city manager when they haven’t formally and properly terminated their other one?”

Halliday said Rose’s attorneys have combed through the city’s official minutes. While the minutes show the council voted April 23 to suspend Rose with pay, and voted June 3 to suspend him without pay, Halliday said his client was never officially terminated.

City attorney Sean Tindell disputes Halliday’s claim.

“The city council voted in April to remove Mr. Rose from office subject to a public hearing if he so requested. The public hearing was scheduled and held on June 3, Mr. Rose chose not to appear, and his removal was finalized based upon the previous vote of the council,” he said. “The minutes clearly reflect these actions and Mr. Rose has been removed as city manager. Considering there is both pending and threatened litigation on the part of Mr. Rose, I really can’t comment further at this time.”

According to the June 3 minutes, the council voted to remove Rose from his position because of “overall job performance, lack of effective communication, adverse working relationships with other agencies, failure to report during an emergency and absenteeism as well as recollecting specific incidents not conducive to the proper overall operation and success of the city.”

Rose’s attorneys have filed a complaint for a declaratory judgment, asking the Hancock County Circuit Court to define the parameters of the hearing under state law. They have also issued a formal notice that Rose plans to proceed with a lawsuit against Diamondhead for defamation and improper termination.

Reed is set to assume his position as city manager Sept. 2.

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Information from: The Sun Herald, https://www.sunherald.com


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