Cherokee County Landfill Manager Don Pitts and Assistant Manager Julie Mugge have been terminated by the Cherokee County Solid Waste Commission on the heels of the 2010-2011 Audit Report.
The action was taken following a special meeting of the Solid Waste Commission on Oct. 26, and the official minutes of that meeting were not released by the Commission until Friday after Thursday night's regular meeting at the Landfill's Separation Center.
Solid Waste Commission Chairman Ken Slater and Secretary/Counsel John P. Loughlin, citing personnel legality issues, would not comment on the matter Friday, or after the Oct. 26 meeting.
"Read the minutes," said Loughlin.
According to the Commission minutes, which are published as a required Legal Notice on Page 3 in today's Chronicle Times, the preliminary audit for Fiscal Year 2010-2011 was presented at the Oct. 26 meeting, action was tabled, and the Commission went into closed session for 1 1/2 hours, before emerging and taking the action calling for the "immediate termination" of Pitts and Mugge.
Pitts was terminated on a 4-3 vote of Commission members, and Mugge terminated on a unanimous vote.
In a related matter, the Commission also approved a motion to not pay any accumulated personal time off (PTO) to either Pitts or Mugge until further audit information can be obtained.
The Commission then unanimously authorized Chairman Slater to contact former Landfill Manager Dennis Henrich and hire him at $20 per hour as an interim manager. The Commission will advertise for the two open positions beginning immediately, according to Slater.
The Commission also unanimously approved a motion to authorize the auditor (Burkhardt & Dawson Certified Public Accountants of Cherokee) to go back an additional three years for fiscal 2005, 2006, 2007 to audit the payroll for Julie Mugge, Jenny Mugge, and Don Pitts, and to further review who signed checks issued to those persons.
In other action at the Oct. 26 meeting, the Commission unanimously approved Commission members Don Parrott, Mark Leeds, and Slater as authorized to sign checks and to be listed in all certificates of deposit and accounts at Cherokee State Bank, and Central Bank. A motion also was approved to continue with the requirement of dual signatures on all checks.
Commission members include representatives from all cities in Cherokee County and the Cherokee County Board of Supervisors.
Currently, they include Slater (Cherokee), Parrott (Washta), Leeds (Supervisors), Les Pedersen (Cleghorn), Roger Smith (Meriden), Gene Galigan (Marcus), Jeff Bowen (Aurelia), Larry Nelson (Quimby).
John P. Loughlin is Secretary/Counsel, and John M. Loughlin is alternate Secretary/Co-Counsel.
A check last week with Cherokee County Attorney Ryan Kolpin, County Auditor Kris Glienke, and the the County Sheriff's Department, revealed that there have been no criminal charges filed to date in the matter.