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 Is Craig Ash a good choice for City Attorney?

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Lady Hawk
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PostSubject: Is Craig Ash a good choice for City Attorney?   Sun Jan 24, 2010 10:54 am

The City Council was going to interview potential candidates for the position of City Attorney and in an effort to see that the City Council made an "informed" decision I went to the city council meeting with packets of information regarding the performance of then City Attorney Craig Ash. At the council meeting I presented the council with "information" and they stated that they would review it before their vote on hiring a new city attorney.

Vicki Oakes came before a board and provided "information" in a secret emergency meeting. The difference between Vicki Oakes and myself is that I am willing to publicly reveal the information. Good government should be transparent and this will allow Mr. Craig Ash the opportunity to respond to the "information."

There were three things discussed. In the first instance Mr. Craig Ash went through the Board minutes for the Ambulance "in detail" before releasing them to the public. In the minutes for Dec 11, 2008 was written the new pass code for the High Rise Apartments. It is peculiar that the secret pass code would be put in the minutes of a board meeting and also not responsible for Craig Ash to release that information to the public instead of removing it after a "detailed inspection."

The second issue discussed was the purchase of the Northside Assets and how both David Lang and Craig Ash Appeared to be unwilling to put in writing the approval of the City Attorney. We have been told that the approval was verbal after a cursory exam but never told who received the verbal approval and why David Lang was so unwilling to put in the minutes that Craig Ash approved the contract.

The third issue was in connections to Craig Ash's handling of the termination of an employee. An ambulance board member wrote an email to an EMT stating that he no longer wanted to be associated with the EMT "professionally." Three days later the Amb Board met and voted to "terminate" the employee because of a letter of complaint "they received". There was no investigation and the letter of complaint was received four days after the board met after the director called the person and asked them to write the complaint. The EMT in question was out of town and had not been allowed to defend himself. The minutes stated that the director "WOULD TALK TO THE CITY ATTORNEY INREGARDS (sic) TO THIS SITUATION." (All caps is in the original.)

The next month the board met and wrote "THE CITY ATTORNEY HAS RECOMMENDED THAT {The director} TALK TO {the EMT} FIRST TO SEE IF {the EMT} WOULD RESIGN ON HIS OWN. BEFORE A TERMINATION LETTER WAS WRITTEN." The minutes also stated that the director talked to the EMT who stated that he wouldn't resign. Both these minutes contained false statements in that the letter of complaint was received after the board decided to terminate and the director never talked to the EMT until weeks after the second meeting.

After the EMT refused to resign there were two more failed attempts to remove the EMT from the Ambulance roster. More letters were written against the EMT without investigation or showing them to the EMT and they were used to attempt to pull his license with the EMSRB thereby terminating him because an EMT cannot work without a license. Craig Ash was also involved in rewriting the EMT Protocols in such a way that the EMT could not sign them and put in the stipulation that if you did not sign them it would be considered a "voluntary resignation."

After all this, during the VA Hearing, City Attorney Craig Ash withheld the minutes to the Ambulance Board Meetings and then sat there while his witnesses stated under oath that they "never sought termination." The Board minutes reveal that Craig Ash knew they sought termination as proven by the documents he withheld.

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Our citizens may be deceived for awhile, and have been deceived;
but as long as the presses can be protected,
we may trust to them for light.
- Thomas Jefferson
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Lady Hawk
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PostSubject: Employee issues with David Lang and Craig Ash   Sun Jan 24, 2010 11:58 am

At the recent Ortonville City Council meeting there was an interview process for the new City Attorney appointment. The candidates were given a sheet of questions to answer.

Two of the questions were of interest.

4. How would you/your firm handle a situation where the city administrator of a city council member told you to do something you disagreed with? What would you do if your/your (sic) Firm's goals differed from the city council or city administrator?

8. Please describe your/your (sic) Firm's experience with issues relating to employee relations, and hiring, discipline and termination of employees.



In view of the above post one has to wonder how Craig Ash would respond to these questoins in light of the evidence? Consider the following facts. Char Grossman was given an evaluation and the next thing we know she resigns. Why? Has anyone ever heard anything against Char in the performance of her duties? Dec 18, 2006 I have never heard anything but the highest praise for her job performance. What was the city council up to? What was City Attorney Craig Ash's involvement? Looking at question 4 above one has to wonder?

Looking at question 8 makes one wonder about the fiasco with Police Chief Curt Horman. Why were charges brought up against him before the city council? The rules in Ortonville state that the Police Chief should face the Police Commission. Yet City Clerk David Lang sat at the meeting and said that the League of Municipalities said it was OK to do this and that he told Ash about it. Why did Ash allow the City Clerk David Lang to ignore City of Ortonville rules? See minutes here. Kim Danielson was also given an employee review and a few months later resigns from the EDA and Vicki Oakes takes over without any posting of the position or vote by the City Council. Where was the City Attorney on that one?

It is highly suspicious that four employees (I have only listed four here but there are others.) have either reviews or charges brought against them and there is no action by the city attorney to see that city employee policy is being followed? Who is responsible to see that city officials follow city policy? Who's job is it to see that when an employee issue comes up they are treated according to city policy? Both City Clerk David Lang and City Attorney Craig Ash should be responsible for how employees are treated but there is evidence here that policy was not followed by the City Clerk and The City Attorney did nothing to stop it. Indeed he further participated by withholding evidence and sat mute while his witnesses lied about it. It should also be noted that two of the witnesses who wrote complaints against the EMT, that were used to try to pull the EMT's license and were never investigated, were elevated to the Ambulance Board afterwards.

Are these the kind of people who should be given the reins of power in the City of Ortonville?

_________________

Our citizens may be deceived for awhile, and have been deceived;
but as long as the presses can be protected,
we may trust to them for light.
- Thomas Jefferson
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