As of Thursday, May 15, 2014
BRIDGEPORT In a statement that will appear on the June 3 recall election ballot, Mayor Marilynn Lynn explained her side of the issue that led to the election, but makes no pleas to the residents.
Her statement, submitted to the Douglas County Auditor’s Office, reviews how past employee Eugenia Dominguez came to work for the city twice, the second time as a contractor.
“In October and November of 2013 the city used the services of a previous employee to fill in during training periods for the new city clerk and deputy clerk,” Lynn wrote. “She was paid on an hourly basis, no taxes deducted or benefits received. Council was aware of this temporary office assistance and approved all the vouchers to pay for her services as an independent vendor.
“The individual who provided temporary office assistance was paid as a vendor and received a 1099 at the end of the year. That income was reported to the federal government for services received from an independent vendor. She was never hired as an employee between July and November 2013.
“These are the facts. Thank you for your consideration.”
Lynn made a similar statement during a Feb. 4 hearing in Douglas County Superior Court, when Judge John Hotchkiss considered that complaint among 12 others filed by resident Michael Knox.
During a meeting in late January, Councilwoman Janet Conklin noted the council had found out about Dominguez’s return to work for the city via Facebook, after telling Lynn not to hire her, and then asked Lynn to terminate her contract.
Knox argued that hiring Dominguez, even on a contract basis, went against the council’s wishes and therefore constituted malfeasance or misfeasance in her duties as mayor.
“A rose by any other name is still a rose,” he said. “I am surprised that in the face of continued City Council reluctance to authorize the hiring of an employee, even after the Superior Court judge agreed that she had violated the standards of the city ordinance and state law, she still insists on trying to convince the public she did nothing wrong.”
Of the 13 complaints against Lynn that Hotchkiss considered, that was the only issue for which he found sufficient legal basis to distribute a petition for a recall election. In his ruling, he wrote that Lynn had been “splitting hairs” when she hired Dominguez on a contract basis rather than as an employee, despite knowing the council’s wishes.
Although Lynn provided Dominguez’s employment records and voucher payments in a motion for reconsideration, Hotchkiss denied it on the grounds that Lynn should have provided those records before the Feb. 4 hearing.
Knox began circulating a petition March 28 to start a special election ballot that would allow voters to decide whether to recall Lynn. He needed at least 85 signatures in 180 days, and gathered 114 in less than two weeks.
The signatures were verified April 7.
Ballots for the June 3 special election will be mailed May 14 to 431 registered voters. Results will be certified June 17.
If Lynn is recalled, the current mayor pro tempore, Conklin, would become mayor.
Lynn has previously told The Chronicle she will not resign. The city will have to pay an estimated $3,000 to $4,000 for the election, since the recall will be the only measure on the ballot, the auditor’s office said.