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Lawsuit filed against City of Quincy on behalf of city manager

Power struggle in city commission prompts lawsuit
Posted at 10:58 PM, Nov 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-17 17:12:39-05

QUINCY, Fla. (WTXL) — Legal action is unfolding in Quincy in a power struggle between the city manager and city commission.

This follows a vote last week to stop hiring new employees and raising pay unless approved by the commission.

Quincy Mayor Pro Tem, Keith Dowdell, explains why he moved to freeze the city manager from hiring new employees.

"That was because I'm thinking about the police and the firemen."

That motion passed at the city commission meeting on Nov. 9. Dowdell said he put a freeze in place to set money aside for the police and fire departments.

"We are in negotiations with them right now, and they're asking for a lot of money. We've got to come to an agreement."

There are a number of openings including police officers, firefighters, and accountants on the city's website.

A new lawsuit is being filed against the city on behalf of City Manager, Jack McLean. Larry White is representing McLean. White told ABC 27 the move is illegal because it's not in the city charter.

"There's an additional process that's not included in the charter which requires him to staff everything and present it to the commissioners."

White says this will interfere with the powers of the city manager and prevent him from implementing key programs in the community. White plans to take this in front of a court as soon as possible.

"This presents a major problem for the City of Quincy and for the citizens of Quincy the way this is being handled by the city commission."

Dowdell said he plans to bring this motion up again at the next regular meeting to explain everything can go on the same, but commission approval is a must.

"You can give out as many raises as you want to. You can hire as many people as you want to. It's just you got to bring it back to the commission so we can know."

A workshop and special meeting are happening on Nov. 16, at the city commission chambers where further discussions are expected to happen about the next steps.

The next regular city commission meeting is scheduled to happen on Dec. 14 at Quincy City Hall.