Bayport: Former city administrator puzzled by investigation
Bayport is searching for a new city administrator, and former administrator Mitch Berg still doesn’t know why he’s out of a job.
Berg, who worked for the city for more than three years, announced Dec. 20 that he would resign effective March 2. He attempted to withdraw his resignation on Jan. 17, but the council had already accepted it.
Berg said Wednesday, March 6, that after he tried to withdraw his resignation, the council called an emergency meeting for Jan. 18 and voted to place him on administrative leave.
“I was completely surprised to learn I had been put on suspension because the city was investigating a complaint against me,” he said.
According to the minutes of the Jan. 18 meeting, the investigation involved “recent allegations of misconduct involving violations of the city’s code of conduct and personnel policy.”
City officials have said the nature and contents of the complaint will remain private; Berg said he does not know who filed the complaint, when it was filed or what was alleged.
The council held a special meeting last week and voted unanimously to close the investigation. Council members voted 3-1 to take no formal disciplinary action against Berg; council member Michele Hanson was the lone dissenter.
The council also has hired Springsted Inc. to help conduct a search for a new administrator and expects the new person to be on the job by mid-June.
Assistant City Administrator Sara Taylor will fill in as acting administrator
until then. Taylor said this week that she is not applying for the permanent post.
Before joining the Bayport staff in October 2009, Berg worked as a city administrator in Mahnomen, Afton and North Hudson, Wis. He teaches at Argosy University in Eagan and Minnesota State University-Mankato.
Berg said he has hired the law firm Gregg Corwin and Associates of St. Louis Park to assist him in conducting his own investigation against Bayport.
“I don’t even know if there was a complaint made against me,” he said. “I never got clarity what the complaint was or from whom. … This will be a part of what we will be investigating.”
Mary Divine can be reached at 651-228-5443. Follow her at twitter.com/MaryEDivine.