MAUMEE (WTOL) - Maumee City Administrator John Jezak remains on paid administrative leave, despite city council blocking an investigation into his actions involving an ethics report that was released in December.
On Jan. 7, Jezak was informed that he was being placed on leave while law firm Spengler Nathanson investigated the circumstances surrounding the ethics report, which was initiated in June.
That Squire Patton Boggs report questioned several actions by Mayor Richard Carr, who was mostly cleared in the report. The mayor, and others, say Jezak misled Squire Patton Boggs by telling them that he had council’s authorization to begin the investigation in June. In fact, council did not vote for that authorization until August, though Jezak claims that, because Squire Patton Boggs was the city’s law firm, he could take concerns to them.
On Monday night, enough council members agreed and refused to allow the second investigation – this one into Jezak’s actions - to go forward.
“I think it’s not necessary, No. 1. It’s a clear sign of retaliation, No. 2, and it’s just an ongoing pattern of behavior from Mayor Carr,” Councilman David Kissinger told WTOL.
It is just the latest drama, which has taken on an almost surreal quality at times. When Jezak was put on leave, he was told of the decision hours before a vote on his firing – in a voicemail from council president Tim Pauken, who was serving as acting mayor because Carr recused himself from any issues involving the initial ethics report. Then, at the Jan. 7 meeting, the mayor and Pauken swapped seats on a couple of occasions when the report was brought up.
Now, Jezak remains on leave, despite the city not being allowed to go forward with the investigation against him.
Jezak told WTOL that he doesn’t believe Pauken has grounds to keep him on leave.
When asked in an email if he would like to comment about the vote or Jezak’s status, Pauken told WTOL: “No, I don’t like your style! You can practice on someone else. John Jezak’s status has not changed.”
But the political infighting is not likely to end soon. At Monday’s meeting, council also voted to give law director Beth Tischler a Friday deadline to send the four complaints found in the December ethics report to the Ohio Auditor’s Public Integrity Assurance Unit and the state’s Ethics Commission.
Tischler did not return a phone call seeking comment.
Kissinger said he plans on bringing up every element of the report in future council meetings, including allegations that the administration engaged in age discrimination against two employees whose hours were cut by Carr as a budget-cutting move.
“It is stunning to me that Mayor Carr would flagrantly and without remorse cut the pay of two city, both of whom are senior citizens,” Kissinger said.