MARICOPA, AZ. – August 21, 2012 – On May 25, 2012, City Manager Brenda Fischer provided City Attorney Denis Fitzgibbons with a complaint alleging City Councilman Alan Marchione communicated with certain city staff members in an unprofessional manner.
Due to the parties involved and the nature of the complaint, the City requested that Attorney Bill Sims conduct a neutral fact finding investigation, regarding the allegation in the complaint.
Mr. Sims currently represents five cities and towns throughout Arizona and
serves as the Legal Counsel for the Arizona Municipal Risk Retention Pool, which is comprised of 76 cities and towns.
The goal of the investigation was to determine if inappropriate behavior by Council member Marchione occurred and if so, to address and cease it while protecting the City from liability. Based on his investigation findings, Mr. Sims made six recommendations aimed at improving and strengthening the City’s personnel practices and code.
Those recommendations include:
1. Council adopting a Code of Ethics
2. Clarifying the Personnel Manual to more clearly address intra-office
communications, grievance reporting procedures and prohibitions on retaliation
3. Amending the City Code to include a censure provision
4. Providing Staff and Council training on the council-manager form of government, as well the City’s personnel policies and practices
5. Councilman Marchione has agreed that for the remainder of his current term he will communicate with City staff through the City Manager or her designee and copy the City Manager on all written communications with staff
6. To avoid the appearance of conflict of interest or possible retaliation, Councilman Marchione has agreed to recuse himself from any personnel matters involving the City Manager for the remainder of his current term.
The City Council adopted these recommendations at its City Council meeting on August 21, 2012.
Mayor Christian Price stated “it has been greatly appreciated that throughout the duration of this investigation, Councilman Marchione, City Manager Brenda Fischer and the current and former City employees who were interviewed, demonstrated the professionalism that best characterizes the employees who work for the City of Maricopa. This has been a learning experience for all involved and the City work environment will be stronger for having gone
through this. We are taking the necessary actions to make sure similar misunderstandings are less likely to occur in the future. I also want to acknowledge both City Manager Fischer for bringing these issues forward and Councilman Marchione’s voluntary acceptance of Bill Sims’ recommendations.”
Mayor Price further stated “I speak for the entire Council when I say that we are pleased the investigation is complete, that Council adopted the recommendations making us a stronger community moving forward and that we can continue to focus on making the City of Maricopa a great place to work, locate a business and raise a family.”
Information in this article was provided verbatim to Maricopa360.com via official press release.