Political Notebook

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Libel talk prompts walkout

Republicans on the City Council attacked Mayor Tom Henry for firing his purchasing director – attacks that eventually led to most of the Democrats walking out of the meeting.

Councilman Tom Didier, R-3rd, called the firing of Jim Howard – an outspoken conservative Republican –last week “baffling” because of his value to the city, but the sparks really flew when Councilwoman Liz Brown, R-at large, chimed in.

Brown attacked Councilwoman Karen Goldner, D-2nd, for saying Howard had made some mistakes in the handling of the city’s insurance contracts. Brown and others vehemently noted that Howard had no role in those contracts.

“Councilwoman Goldner was libelous when she said he had made mistakes,” Brown said.

This barb prompted Goldner and Councilman Glynn Hines, D-6th, to get up and walk out of the meeting, a move Hines has done to repudiate Brown in the past. Brown, however, couldn’t let their exit go by unnoticed.

“This must be like Wisconsin where the Democrats always walk out,” she said.

Councilman Tim Pape, D-5th, had left before Brown’s comments, leaving Councilman John Shoaff, D-at large, as the only Democrat in the room as she finished her rant.

Brown went on to note what she saw as mistakes made by City Attorney Carol Taylor and Controller Pat Roller and the fact they were not fired. She concluded by saying Goldner must the mouthpiece of the administration or she had illegally accessed Howard’s personnel file to be able to share such knowledge.

Without skipping a beat, she then wished everyone a happy Thanksgiving.

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