Assistant city attorney Lisa Sjogren has requested a decision from the Attorney General’s office regarding a public information request made Oct. 18 by Tim Fleischer, editor of Salado Village Voice.
Salado Village Voice made the request for the following documents after the Village of Salado Board of Aldermen voted to unilaterally sever the Employment Agreement it had with Village Administrator Kim Foutz last month:
• A list of complaints made against and/or about city administrator Kim Foutz
• A list of the names of those interviewed by the city attorney who was authorized to conduct the investigation into Kim Foutz
• The final recommendation and/or summary resulting from the investigation into Kim Foutz
• Communication between the Village and its insurers regarding the employment agreement with Foutz
• Invoice line items from the Village Attorney regarding the investigation into Kim Foutz.
In the request for an Attorney General’s opinion, Sjogren stated that “The City contends that part or all of the information requested is excepted from public disclosure under applicable law found in Chapter 552, Subchapter C, §552.101 through §552.156 of the Act, including without limitation, §552.101 – Confidential Information; §552.103 Litigation or Settlement Negotiations; §552.107 – Certain Legal Matters; and §552.111 – Agency Memoranda.”
The Board of Aldermen voted 4-1 on Oct. 6 to unilaterally sever the employment agreement with Kim Foutz effective on Nov. 7. At the time, aldermen continued to put Foutz on paid administrative leave until the date of the severance. Under the specifics of the unilateral severance, the Village will pay one year’s salary to Foutz ($80,000) and up to six months of Foutz’ health insurance stipend of $557 per month. Of the severance, the insurance carrier will pay $40,000.
On Sept. 15, aldermen voted 4-1 with Dave Williams voting against to place Foutz on “administrative leave with pay for a period not to exceed 30 days under terms set by the Mayor, in order for the Mayor or his designees to conduct an investigation into complaints against the Administrator and determine if the Administrator employment contract should be terminated for good cause.”
After the motion was approved, Mayor Skip Blancett announced that he was delegating the investigation to aldermen Michael McDougal and Fred Brown.
Following a 150-minute executive session of the Board of Aldermen on Sept. 22, Mayor Blancett announced that “legal counsel for the Village will conduct the investigation into complaints against the Village Administrator.”