Boulder City city manager resigns 4 months after city attorney resigned

LAS VEGAS - Another Boulder City official has stepped down.  City Manager David Fraser submitted his resignation. This comes just four months after Dave Olsen, the city's embattled city attorney, quit. 

Fraser's resignation is the latest in a series of the city's ongoing conflicts.  However, Fraser isn't clear and free of the position just yet.

On Tuesday, the Boulder City City Council will have to vote on whether or not it will accept a separation agreement with Fraser.
  
8 News NOW sources say the city manager's resignation comes amid an investigation into another city administrator being allowed to sleep in a closet inside of City Hall on the weekends.
   
When asked about the closet situation two weeks before Fraser's resignation, Mayor Rod Woodbury said, "Yeah, I heard that in public comment.  I'm not aware of anything, but that's certainly something that is under investigation at this point." 

8 News NOW reached out to the City Thursday regarding Fraser's decision to quit, and a representative sent us this statement from Mayor Woodbury:

"I’m not at liberty to comment on details since this is a personnel matter.  At least not until more becomes public.  But  it’s been agendized for the City Council’s consideration on June 6.  As with all employees, I’m hopeful and optimistic that any parting of ways will be amicable, mutually agreeable, and in the best interests of all involved.  Mr. Fraser is still our City Manager, and as long as that’s the case, he has our full support.  So I’m confident we’ll all continue doing our level best to work together for the common good of the City.  If there is a separation, then we’ll discuss and hopefully decide at the June 6 meeting what the next steps will be, including appointing an interim City Manager and possibly searching both internally and more globally for his replacement."

Former City Attorney Olsen resigned in February, a few weeks after the city council and key staff members were required by the State Ethics Commission to take a remedial ethics training class for the second time.

Woodbury had the following to say about the training during an interview on 8 News NOW Good Day:

Kirsten Joyce, 8 News NOW Anchor: "Did you learn anything new? How worthwhile for the council to receive this training?" Woodbury: "Well, it's always good to have training.  I'm not sure we learned anything new, but we got to have some good dialogue with the ethics director."

The 8 News NOW I-Team obtained the video from the January meeting.

"If you're being asked to do something that affects your employer, even in your public capacity to benefit your private interest, that could potentially be a conflict of interest," said Yvonne M. Navarez-Goodson, Executive Director of the Nevada Commission on Ethics, to the city council and staff.

Navarez-Goodson spent two hours with the group proving them with information and answering questions.  In the video of the training session, most of the questions from the council seemed to be more concerned about deflecting responsibility on potential conflicts of interest.

"I wish we could review every page of every document that comes before us, but we get these things, you know, on Thursday, effectively Friday, before the Tuesday when we have to vote," Woodbury said.

"The commission, from the public policy point of view, is coming back and saying, 'well if it needs your vote at all, your ratification, your oversight in any way, shape or form, you're responsible to the public for that,'" Navarez-Goodson replied.

"They could bury something on page 400, and they're not the clerk that did it, they're the public works director, and now he's going to get a violation," Boulder City City Councilman Cam Walker contended.

The state has dinged Boulder City officials, from mayors and department heads to a former city attorney, numerous times for conflicts and other issues in recent years.

Current council members asked why others could not be held accountable in those cases, including in the case of a former council member who successfully filed an ethics complaint against former Mayor Roger Tobler.

"She got a willful violation charge against him done by the ethics commission," said Duncan McCoy, Boulder City city councilman.

"In my case, I talked with a council, I talked out loud, and I decided that I would vote on a matter, and a member of staff filed the ethics complaint," Councilman Cam Walker said.

"Will there ever be any consequences for predatory people out there just looking for the 'gotcha moments?'" Woodbury asked.

When it comes to 'gotcha' moments, state officials say that's why there's an investigative process; it weeds out false claims.
  
Boulder City has also unsuccessfully filed three lawsuits against citizens who filed various initiative petitions.

As a result, the city has been fined over $1 million.

 


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