Former Eldridge City Administrator announces plans to take legal action against the city

Published: Oct. 4, 2021 at 3:13 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ELDRIDGE, Iowa (KWQC) - Former Eldridge City Administrator Lisa Kotter is planning to file a lawsuit against the city to get her job back, she and her attorney told TV6 Investigates.

On Tuesday, the City Council voted 3-to-2 vote for Kotter to be terminated from her position following an investigation into workplace misconduct.

The third-party report, conducted by Annette Snyder, of Bettendorf’s Employment Sources, claimed Kotter contributed to a poor work environment, Kotter said.

Mayor Marty O’Boyle and Ray Nees, the city’s inspector, were also allegedly mentioned in the report as contributors, Kotter said.

Kotter said she filed a complaint against council member Brian Dockery with allegations of gender discrimination.

Now, Kotter and her attorney Michael Meloy say that her allegations of sexual harassment and gender discrimination were not taken into account in the report and that she was unfairly terminated.

Both Kotter and Meloy provided the following statements to TV6:

“I made it clear that I want to return to work as the City Administrator of the city of Eldridge. Two councilmen--Mr. King and Mr. Cheek--agreed with me. Councilmen King and Cheek voted against the council’s motion made at the September 28 meeting. They also offered motions to re-instate me as City Administrator.

“Mrs. Snyder, the investigator, exonerated me from the claim of sexual harassment as there was no evidence of Mr. Nees’s claim. However, I have serious concerns about the overall validity and accuracy of the Snyder report.

“Mrs. Snyder admitted that she failed to interview a witness - Angie King - an 11-year employee of the city who resigned in April of 2021. Mrs. Snyder stated she didn’t interview Angie because she would’ve given me a glowing report. Mrs. King was named two dozen times in that report but again was never interviewed by Snyder.”

- Former City Administrator Lisa Kotter

“The Eldridge City Council voted on a split vote three-to-two this week to terminate Lisa Kotter during a four-hour council meeting. Councilman [Brian] Dockery voted to terminate along with two other councilmen, while two other additional councilmen voted to fully re-instate Mrs. Kotter as City Administrator.

“If Councilman Dockery had recused himself as he would’ve been required to do under Iowa law, the motion to terminate Mrs. Kotter would have failed because then it would have been a tie vote of two-to-two. There is a conflict of interest that exists here on Mr. Dockery’s part. Lisa Kotter filed a gender discrimination complaint against Councilman Dockery on Aug. 16, 2021.

“We believe that Dockery couldn’t, in good faith, vote to terminate Lisa Kotter and should have recused himself pursuant to Iowa code because of the complaint filed against him by Lisa Kotter. We will pursue all legal avenues to have a state judge enforce the Iowa Conflict of Interest law and to re-instate Lisa Kotter as City Administrator.

“That employee and the mayor have not suffered any repercussions under the Snyder report, however, the one female that she allegedly determines contributed to this environment is singled out for termination. That shows the disparity and treatment here between a male employee, a male mayor and a female employee.

- Michael Meloy.

According to Kotter and Meloy, a lawsuit will be filed against the city to get her re-instated.

TV6 Investigates has reached out to the Mayor, the city’s attorney Jeff McDaniels, the Eldridge City Council, and the assistant City Administrator for comment. They have yet to respond.

Copyright 2021 KWQC. All rights reserved.