[Mark Black - for Shaw Media]
Her lawyer, Keith Hunt, said Mayor Jerry Smith and City Attorney Dean Frieders (above) repeatedly had asked Talkington if she was in a dating relationship with Alderman David Jacobson. After Talkington’s most recent refusal to discuss the matter with Frieders, she was barred from returning to work the next business day, Hunt said.
“They became very angry with her because they thought she wasn’t cooperating and giving the info they wanted to hear for their own prurient interests,” Hunt said. “So now they start dredging up events from nine months ago that happened under a different city manager and claiming the city council didn’t know anything about it.”
Talkington, who joined the city in September 2017 as its finance director, was named interim city manager in June. She was placed on leave Nov. 5 by Smith. The city announced the move Friday, saying Talkington had overseen an unauthorized reduction in the city’s contribution to its employee health insurance co-op, using $250,000 that should have gone to premium payments to balance the budget instead.
City Council members had a lengthy agenda Tuesday night, which included measures to authorize an emergency payment of $250,000 to the health insurance risk pool, to remove Talkington from her position as interim city manager and return her to her role as finance director, and to appoint Raymond Munch, assistant city manager, as the new interim city manager. They also had scheduled a closed session to discuss pending or imminent litigation and personnel matters.