5/13/2016 8:21:00 AM Editorial - Release the Gorayeb report
The Sisters City Council must follow the order of Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel and release the report on the investigation into the conduct of now-former city manager Andrew Gorayeb.
The council's concern for the confidentiality of statements made by employees is understandable and laudable. That concern does not, however, outweigh the public interest in understanding how it came to pass that the city manager resigned in the wake of an investigation that reportedly did not substantiate complaints of bullying and harassment.
If there was conduct that was inappropriate or discourteous - but not cause for termination - why could the city council and Gorayeb not come to terms through some form of discipline that would have been mutually acceptable?
Why could the council not simply dismiss Gorayeb - an at-will employee - "without cause"?
And how did the city council find itself in a position where they considered it in the best interests of the city to pay severance of some $114,000 to an employee who chose to resign?
The council has answered these questions with generalities and assurances. In the absence of a forthright accounting of what happened and why, the investigation report is the only avenue by which the citizens and taxpayers of Sisters can have any inkling as to why the city felt so exposed to litigation that they were willing to pay out a significant amount of money to ensure Gorayeb's quiet departure.
Continuing to resist releasing the report in the face of a very clear order from the District Attorney will only stoke suspicion and concern among the public. It will also continue to drag out a process that has occupied the City of Sisters since February, and pile up more legal expenses for an episode that will end up costing the City somewhere around $200,000 when all is said and done.
The District Attorney has given the council the opportunity to do the right thing in the public interest, to treat the City's business as the people's business, to be transparent and release information rather than trying to lock it away from the eyes of citizens.
Release the report.
Posted: Sunday, May 15, 2016
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"There were representations to both the city manager and the staff that the city council would use their best efforts to keep the report confidential," Bryant told the council.
So who made those representations? And on the advice from which legal counsel?
Posted: Friday, May 13, 2016
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It sounds and seems to me that having secrets is not in the best interest of our community and we as the community should have knowledge to what our city officials are doing.