Diamondhead council to eye fate of city mgr.
By Dwayne Bremer
May 30, 2014, 19:50
The Diamondhead City Council will host a special public hearing at Tuesday's meeting to decide the fate of suspended City Manager Richard Rose.
City Attorney Sean Tindell said Thursday that the hearing will be held during the June 3 meeting. It will be open to the public.
Rose, a former Gulfport city councilman and D'Iberville city manager, became city manager of Diamondhead in 2012.
Under his contract with the city he works at the "will and pleasure" of the city council, although he is allowed certain rights of due process.
One of those rights is to have a public hearing in the event the council attempts to terminate him.
In April, the council voted 4-3 to conditionally remove Rose pending the outcome of his public hearing. Rose has been suspended since April 25.
At a hearing in April in which Rose was not present, city council members said they based their decision to conditionally dismiss Rose on various issues including several items related to Rose's job performance and alleged recent actions.
Since then, Rose's attorneys and Tindell have negotiated and worked out a date for the hearing.
One issue with the delay in the hearing has been differences in what the hearing will consist of.
According to a request for declaratory judgment filed in Hancock County Circuit Court on Friday, Rose is requesting that he be allowed to call witnesses and present evidence at the hearing.
The city, he claims, is only willing to offer him 30 minutes to address the council, according to declaratory judgment request.
"It is readily apparent that the defendant (the city) is attempting to reduce the statutorily mandated public hearing to a mere item on the agenda with no opportunity to present witnesses or testimony," Rose said in his court filing. The plaintiff (Rose) asserts that the defendant is de facto denying his statutorily mandated due process."
Tindell said Friday that he is aware of Rose's court filing, but he could not immediately comment about it.
He said the city council still plans to hold its public hearing Tuesday, but he did not say what the hearing would include.