APPLETON – As severe weather season continues in Northeast Wisconsin there is more turmoil for Outagamie County Emergency Management. The department is now without its deputy director only weeks after its director resigned under pressure.
Outagamie County Emergency Management Deputy Director Mike Pamperin no longer works for the county.
County Executive Tom Nelson would not say whether Pamperin was let go or resigned, but he did tell us interim director Christina Muller and other staff are ready to handle anything this severe weather season.
“We’ve given her support, assistance, resources, whatever she feels she needs to be done in order to the her job well. We’ve got a great working relationship with the sheriff’s department,” Nelson explained.
Former Emergency Management Director Julie Loeffelholz was given the option to resign or be dismissed in late April. County officials say she chose to resign.
Some were critical of Loeffelholz’s handling of response to tornadoes last summer.
County Board Supervisor Jim Duncan told FOX 11 he’s now worried about hiring someone to fill the open positions long-term.
“I don’t know that we’re gonna be able to entice people here when we have a hard time even enticing the people who have left here,” Duncan explained.
Nelson told us he’s not worried yet.
“No, not at this point. That search continues to go,” he said.
Duncan chairs the county’s public safety committee. He said this latest personnel move came as a surprise. He told us that is because Nelson told the emergency management office to keep its internal business, internal.
“I have no idea why they would wanna do that. Quite frankly it’s against the first amendment. It’s against the whistle-blower statute,” said Duncan.
However, Nelson told us, the executive’s office handles personnel issues, the board does not.
“The board historically deals with policy matters and administration deals with administration matters,” said Nelson.
The Outagamie County Sheriff’s Department would be available to help in a severe weather situation. FOX 11 spoke with a department spokesperson. He said while the department is ready to help, he also believes emergency management could handle any situations that come up.