City Council meets behind closed doors to discuss filed grievance

Published: Feb. 8, 2022 at 4:42 PM CST
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) - On February 7, city of Laredo council members did not head into executive session until 9:15 p.m. The one item listed on the agenda to discuss behind closed doors: a grievance filed on January 28 by assistant city manager Kristina Hale.

Before entering executive session, Mayor Pete Saenz asked Hale if she preferred discussing her grievance in open session or behind closed doors, but before she responded, the city’s new interim attorney, Sylvia Borunda Firth, answered. Firth said the grievance was not posted as a personnel item but rather a legal one to provide advice to council members.

Despite questions asked by council members, newly-appointed interim city attorney Firth refused to say anything outside of closed doors aside that this situation was a little irregular and unusual. “That’s why we’re going into executive session, so I can explain to you what has transpired and give you some legal advice about it and how to proceed at this point.” She continued, “it’s a little irregular. It’s unusual because most grievances go through the civil service process and so they never come here.”

An hour later, the mayor, council, and the interim city attorney emerged with the mayor citing no action was taken.

On January 28, KGNS learned of a grievance allegedly filed by Hale with the city’s Human Resources Department. In the grievance referred to last night, it contained many allegations including a toxic work environment, inappropriate behavior by members of city management, information leaked to social media personalities, and even an instance of alleged mismanagement of city funds. KGNS reached out to Hale on this filed grievance. An attorney representing Hale responded to our request with a statement:

KGNS has not independently verified any of the allegations in the grievance.

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