City of Glenwood Springs Broke the Law About Open Meetings in Colorado State

On Friday, Glenwood Springs Mayor Ingrid Wussow and former City Manager Dr. Beverli Marshall testified that the city decided to fire Marshall behind closed doors without telling the public correctly.

Judge Elise Myer of the Ninth Judicial District Court said the city council broke the Colorado open meeting’s law, which says that nothing can be done in executive session. Myer also told the city of Glenwood Springs to give the courts an “in-camera” review of the secret session on August 10 that shows exactly what the council members talked about.

He said on Friday, “Dr. Marshall was put on leave less than 13 hours after the executive session ended.” This is what Myer said next: “The timeline suggests that the decision was made in executive session.”

Tony Hershey, who is now the 9th Judicial District Attorney and used to be on the Glenwood City Council, put in an open records request on September 1. He had earlier filed a lawsuit saying that the city of Glenwood Springs had not cooperated in giving him information about the executive session it held during the special meeting on August 10. Hershey also said that city leaders did something during the private session, which was called to talk about the contract for the city manager.

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Wussow said on Friday that during the executive session, members of the Glenwood Springs City Council decided to tell Mayor Pro Tem Marco Dehm and Wussow to give Marshall a letter of resignation. The message was written by City Attorney Karl Hanlon and given to Marshall the next morning, August 11.

Fussow said of Marshall’s letter of retirement, “We were going to give her choices on how to move forward.” Even though there wasn’t an official vote in the Aug. 10 executive session, Wussow said that the city council agreed to give Marshall two choices in the letter of resignation: either quit quietly or have the details of his impending departure talked about in public. Testimonials say that Marshall’s departure letter didn’t give any reasons why she couldn’t keep her job with the city.

Wussow said, “It was talked about in the executive session.” She also said that Marshall had time to look over her departure letter. The city did not officially and openly vote on Marshall’s resignation until all seven council members agreed to it at a meeting on August 17. They met with Marshall in her office in the morning of August 11. They turned down Marshall’s offer to make them coffee and then told her that her council had met the night before and “decided to let me go” because she was “not a good fit for this council.”

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That day, Marshall was put on paid administrative leave right away. She said she was then told to bring her work computer and keys to city hall. Marshall was then led twice out of the building by Dehm and Wussow while she took things from her office that were personal. Marshall said, “They told me they’d find a box for me.” “They said they could help me get things done.”

Marshall’s employment contract, which was passed by the Glenwood City Council earlier this year, says that if she is fired, she will get four months of severance pay. Instead, Marshall says Hanlon changed her resignation letter to include five months of severance pay to get her to sign it right away, skipping the legally required 21-day waiting time. Marshall talked to Hanlon and signed the letter on August 16. He was then given more than $85,000 in retirement pay.

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