Clintonville council fails to override mayor's veto; Kotter keeps job

Clintonville Mayor Judith Magee comes under fire from city council members in regards to the investigation into the city administrator.
Clintonville Mayor Judith Magee comes under fire from city council members in regards to the investigation into the city administrator.

CLINTONVILLE - Controversy continues in Clintonville.

Now the city council says the mayor has failed to perform her duties.

It's in relation to an investigation into the city administrator.

Nearly 120 people came to this city council meeting in Clintonville - so many that it had to be moved to the community center.

The majority spoke out against the city council's investigation into alleged misconduct of City Administrator Lisa Kotter - and inquiries into Mayor Judith Magee's job performance.

“I am disgusted by this situation you have a council have put our city in. This elementary schoolyard bickering and backstabbing needs to be put to an end,” said Paul Writt, who lives in Clintonville.

“Residents realize that what I am doing is seeking the truth and holding people accountable,” said Gregory Rose, a city council member who took time to speak in the public comment portion of the meeting.

Last week, Magee vetoed the council's decision to send an investigation around Kotter to a labor attorney. That veto ended Kotter's two-week suspension. Kotter had been accused of using the city's travel budget for family vacations.

Tuesday, Kotter told FOX 11 she did nothing wrong.

“I have always acted with the utmost respect for rules and laws within my position and I am thankful to the mayor for vetoing it,” said Kotter.
At the meeting, the council failed to override Magee's veto, on a vote of 6-4. Seven votes were needed.

By the same 6-4 margin, the council issued a vote of no confidence against Mayor Magee.

“There were two issues. One was on veracity on her part and another was job performance with her not being in accordance with the law. For instance, we're under a gag order to not talk about the investigation,” said Mary-Beth Keuster, who began the motion for the vote of no confidence.

The vote of no confidence is a mostly symbolic gesture.

Magee said it's a personal attack.

“I haven't done anything that I believe is wrong. The state statute gives me the power to veto. The council people didn't like the veto,” said Magee.

The council postponed discussion of what to do with Kotter's investigation.

“We will probably be calling a special meeting for next week. We won't let it go until next month. I just spoke to Alderman Rose who had the initial proposal and we will be calling a special meeting to continue the investigation,” said Keuster.

One issue brought up by taxpayers at the meeting: the cost of the Kotter investigation. To date, the city says it has spent $6,600 in legal fees.

Its budget is $10,000. That comes out of a $20,000 contingency fund for the whole city.

Kotter asked the council to share the information about her investigation.

The council refrained because it says the investigation has not been officially closed.