Controversy Erupts Over Firing of Abernathy City Manager - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

4/23/03

Controversy Erupts Over Firing of Abernathy City Manager

A controversy is brewing in Abernathy. At Tuesday night's city council meeting residents spoke out against their mayor who recently fired Abernathy's City Manager.

"This is a council city/manger form of government not a mayor/city council form of government. These four to five council members have a say so. Then they can give it to you for your say so, but I think you stepped out of bounds," said one Abernathy resident.

"I, acting by myself, went in. I offered Frank, I gave Frank the option to resign immediately, or I would fire him. I do have that authority," said Mayor Bob Burnett.

Burnett says he fired City Manager Frank Russell because Russell acted inappropriately, but he would not elaborate. Council members can override Mayor Burnett's decision and will meet Saturday morning to discuss Russell's status.

This is not the first time the City of Abernathy has been involved in controversy. Burnett and the city council voted last year to tear down Abernathy's city hall, which had been contaminated with black mold. Some citizens filed a lawsuit to stop the demolition, but it was dropped when attorney's said they had run out of legal ground.

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