The Lubbock City Council voted Thursday to internally investigate the relationship between City Manager, Lee Ann Dumbauld and District One Councilman, Victor Hernandez. The special meeting was expected to be heated, however most of the debate went on behind closed doors. The council spent only 15 minutes addressing the complaints against Hernandez before they retreated into executive session, spending more than three hours debating the issue in secret.
Last week, Dumbauld and two other city employees filed complaints claiming Hernandez created a hostile work environment for them. Councilwoman Latrelle Joy says she wishes the issue would have been dealt with differently.
"I wish she would have gone to Councilman Hernandez first without releasing it to the media. I'm not real happy with the situation. I think we have so many other important things to do and we have to referee between the city manager and a councilman," Joy said.
For three hours, the chairs sat empty as the council discussed the issue in executive session. Then came a vote to internally investigate Dumbauld's complaint against Hernandez.
"It will begin immediately and we will find a time when we can reconvene and visit with the people involved," Joy said.
The council will also be looking into the withdrawal of one of the three complaints from Budget Director, Cheryl Brock, who claims Dumbauld told to her to file it. Mayor Glen Robertson voted against the motion.
"I voted against the motion because I believe this is turning into an investigation of Ms. Dumbauld. This is an emotional issue that deals with a lady who has served the council for over ten years," Robertson said.
A third complaint, from Director of Finance, Pam Moon, was voted to be tossed out for lack of merit, another decision the mayor didn't agree with.
"I just feel like any time you have a complaint from an employee or an elected official, it needs to be dealt with," Robertson said.
We may never know what was discussed behind closed doors, but Robertson believes the issues are on their way to being resolved. The internal investigation will begin immediately and the council will reconvene once it is completed.
Copyright 2013 KCBD. All rights reserved.