The Canby City Council has moved to place new City Administrator Scott McClure on paid administrative leave, effective immediately, following an emergency meeting in executive session that was held Thursday night at City Hall.
The council had noticed the executive session under a provision of Oregon law that allows closed-door meetings to “consult with counsel concerning the legal rights and duties of a public body with regard to current litigation or litigation likely to be filed.”
The move to place McClure on leave was announced in an email Friday morning from Assistant City Administrator Amanda Zeiber.
“The nature of executive session is that any discussion is confidential,” Zeiber said. “The only information available at this time is the action taken by the City Council in the open meeting following the executive session.”
A follow-up executive session has been scheduled for next week, following the council’s regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 19. The provision of Oregon law cited is to “consider the dismissal or disciplining of, or to hear complaints or charges brought against, a public officer, employee, staff member or individual agent.”
Zeiber’s email concluded with the note that “it’s important not to speculate or otherwise rumor about why the City Council took action,” which, of course, basically guaranteed endless speculation from local City Hall watchers all weekend as to why the City Council took action.
But, that remains a mystery. Elected officials are declining comment on the matter, and have directed all inquiries to City Attorney Joe Lindsay, who was present at the executive session.
In an email, Lindsay also declined to comment further, citing “confidences I must keep for my client (the Council) regarding executive session.”
“I know this might not satiate the public at this time, but it is necessary to preserve all rights to all parties involved,” Lindsay said. “Thanks for your patience and your continued interest in the city of Canby.”
McClure was hired this summer following a months-long recruiting process and stepped into his new role Oct. 7. He was previously the longtime administrator of the city of Monmouth, near Salem.
He replaced Rick Robinson, who retired in October after having served as Canby’s top administrator since 2014.