A special meeting of the City Council was held Thursday, Jan. 14 at which time City Manger David Fuqua was fired. The executive session item for the meeting stated that it was to discuss the employment, disciplining, suspension or removal of the employment of the City Manager. Representatives from the City said that Fuqua’s dismissal was “for cause”, but would not ellaborate further.
The City did provide a copy of Fuqua’s employement contract which states that Fuqua was “to perform the functions and duties specified”, and that the City could “terminate the City Manager at any time, for any reason or for no specific reason.”
Although Fuqua initially agreed to an interview after the meeting, he has since decided to not comment, other than to say, “I’ve been advised not comment on the situation at this time.”
After being in executive session for about an hour and half, the meeting returned to regular session with Councilman Rick Henry making a motion to immediately terminate the employment of Fuqua with the payment of severance pay. A vote was taken, ending six to three. Yes votes were from Councilman Henry, Chris Riffle, Perry Shelton, Kevin Mcauliffe, Jon Kidwell, and Mayor Jack Smiley. No votes were made by Doyle Jenks, Jason Winters, and Dwayne Martin.
After declaring a vacancy in the position, City Attorney Catherine Coke was named as the Acting City Manager, and to also start the hiring process for a new City Manager.
Mayor Smiley said, “Mr. Fuqua’s employment was terminated in the best interest of the City and will receive a severance package per his employment agreement.” No other comments were given.
David Fuqua took over as the City Manager for Altus in May 2015. He replaced acting City Manager Greg Buckley. Buckley had served in the role after the resignation of former City Manager Elizabeth Gray. Before Altus, Fuqua had been a city manager in six towns in three states, most recently Bloomfield, New Mexico.
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