Talent city manager put on leave by council

Talent City Manager Tom Corrigan was placed on indefinite, paid, nondisciplinary leave by the City Council Thursday evening, following a closed-door executive session.

An investigation into his performance and/or potential misconduct will be undertaken, according to a motion for the action. The council, which unanimously voted to place Corrigan on leave, also directed Mayor Darby Ayers-Flood to work with the city attorney to hire a personnel investigator to review the concerns.

“We look forward to resolving this issue,” said Ayer-Flood. She had no other comment on the situation.

Councilors Ken Baker, Emily Berlant, Stephanie Dolan, John Harrison, Daria Land and Ryan Pederson all voted for the motion, which was offered by Pederson.

Christy Monson, a lawyer with Speer Hoyt’s Local Government Law Group, which represents the city, had been consulted on wording of the motion. Monson said she was not authorized to speak on city matters when contacted Friday.

“Tom was at the meeting. He was very cordial and professional,” said Ayers-Flood. “It was a calm and orderly meeting, which is what I would have expected from Tom Corrigan.”

City Recorder Kim Collins submitted her resignation Tuesday. Ayers-Flood said Collins did not give a reason for her action. Collins was hired in July after serving as the recorder in Jacksonville.

The appointment of an interim city manager is planned for the Nov. 15 council meeting. Finance Director Ryan Martin will oversee city hall and public works until an interim manager is hired. Community Development Director Zac Moody will supervise Talent Urban Renewal Agency work, a duty that falls to the city manager. Police Chief Curtis Whipple will lead the police department.

The council is weighing in on the appointment process and different options that are available for naming an interim, said Ayers-Flood. An appointment could be made from current staff or with help from the League of Oregon Cities, she said.

Corrigan began his position in January 2012. He was city manager in Galena, Alaska, from 2009 through 2011 after working as city manager in Fredonia, Arizona, from 1998 to 2009. He had previously worked in emergency medical services and fire services.

— Tony Boom is an Ashland freelance writer. Reach him at tboomwriter@gmail.com.

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