Diamondhead Council votes to dismiss its city manager
By Dwayne Bremer
Apr 25, 2014, 21:26
The Diamondhead City Council on Wednesday voted to dismiss City Manager Richard Rose, pending an appeal hearing.
Meanwhile, Rose will be suspended from work duties until the details of his appeal are heard, officials said.
City attorney Sean Tindell said Friday that the details of the hearing are still being worked out.
"I think it would be inappropriate to comment on it at this time," Tindell said. "I have been in contact with Mr. Rose and his attorney about the timeline for a hearing. We will make an announcement when a hearing is set or if there is a final council action."
Rose, a former Gulfport city councilman and D'Iberville city manager, became city manager of Diamondhead in 2012.
The city council met in executive session for about 15 minutes Wednesday before announcing its decision to dismiss Rose.
The council voted 4-2 to dismiss Rose, with councilmen Joe Lopez and Tom Sislow dissented.
Councilman-At-Large Ernie Knobloch read aloud a list of items which he said the council used to reach its decision on Rose.
The allegations included several items related to Rose's job performance and alleged recent actions.
Councilman Ron Rech said that Rose's job performance has declined recently.
"It seemed like he was paying more attention to politics than running the city," Rech said.
Councilman Blaine Lafontaine said that the move was nothing against Rose personally, but a decision that had to be made.
"We are looking at what is best for the future of the city," he said.
Councilman Joe Lopez said he did not agree with firing Rose.
He said he favored a previous council idea to place Rose on 90 days' probation and give him a list of items to correct.
Tindell said Wednesday that, Rose had informed him that if the council would give him nine months severance pay, then Rose would not seek the hearing and that he promised not to divulge the contents of audio tapes he had in his possession.
Knobloch said he felt uncomfortable with such a request.
"And on top of it, he wants termination pay," Knobloch said. "That sounds a lot like extortion."
Rose was not at the meeting because he was on vacation in Florida.
He declined to comment, but said he would be back in town on Sunday.