Gold Hill will pay nearly $1,000 over employee complaint

Gold Hill will pay a state fine and some attorney costs related to charges that an employee misused a city vehicle.

The City Council voted 3-2 Monday that it would pay Public Works Director Royal Gasso's $400 fine from the state ethics commission and $550 in attorney fees, about half of the total Gasso owes.

The fine and fees stem from a charge last year that Gasso had driven a city-owned car for personal use in violation of state law.

The council determined Monday that a city policy permitted Gasso to drive the car for personal use, contributing to the violation.

The council considered two other proposals, one to pay all Gasso's expenses and the other to pay none.

"I personally felt that paying the fine was essential," said council member Mike Ely. "The entire original complaint was originated by a council member that, if there was any issue at all, would have been a personnel issue."

The complaints about Gasso's use of the car were presented to the ethics commission by recalled former council member Kathleen Price, who told council members this week that she'd report them to the ethics commission if they chose to pay Gasso's fine and attorney costs.

— Buffy Pollock

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