Home Carroll County The Taneytown City Council passed a resolution to reinstate Jack Gullo, who...

The Taneytown City Council passed a resolution to reinstate Jack Gullo, who was previously fired from his position as City Attorney

1334
0
Advertisement

On February 12th the Taneytown Council voted to reinstate Jack Gullo as the City Attorney. Here is a video clip of how that transpired during the Mayor & City Council Meeting on the 12th:

Transcript of the video (note – there may be misspellings in this transcript due to the automation that created this text. Be sure to watch the video(s) for the exact words said at the meeting)

Mayor Christopher Miller: Welcome back to the public session of the Taneytown meeting for February 12th, 2024. At this time, I’m going to read the record of the closed meeting. On February 12th, 2024, at 8.08 p.m. at City Hall, there was a motion to hold a closed meeting made by Councilmember Tillman with a second by Councilmember McCarran, carried 4-0. The topics discussed were the mayoral authority to terminate Attorney Gullo, passage of a budget amendment ordinance. Persons present at the closed session were Mayor Miller, all council members except for council member Foster, the city manager, Claire Kalman, and attorney, Kevin Best. Actions taken at the closed session. Resolution to reinstate attorney Gullo. Motion to adjourn to open session made by Fuller with a second by Tillman, carried 4-0.

I would think a motion to approve the resolution would be in order.

Mayor Christopher Miller: Would anybody like to read the resolution into the public, so the public know what the resolution says?

Councilman Christopher Tillman: I’ll read it for you.

Mayor Christopher Miller: If you don’t mind.

(Video above skipped the reading of the resolution…you can see it read below in the full video) 

Councilwoman Judith Fuller: I have a motion to approve resolution number 2024-03.

Mayor Christopher Miller: Looking for a second?

Councilman James McCarron: Second.

Mayor Christopher Miller: All those in favor, signify by saying aye. all those opposed, ney. carries.

Mayor Christopher Miller: The vote is, we have a yes by Councilmember Fuller, yes by Councilmember McCarran, yes by Councilmember Cheney, and a yes by Councilmember Tillman. And then we have absent Councilmember Foster.

Mayor Christopher Miller: Okay, before the motion to adjourn, I’d like to make a brief statement regarding the matters. Council believes that I do not have the authority to fire the city attorney. I still believe that authority rests with the mayor’s office. I do not currently intend to keep fighting this at the taxpayer’s expense. As the council’s challenge of the mayor authority has already cost the town and has been a distraction for the couple of months that we’ve been in this situation. I’ll continue working hard to adjust in the climate that we have here at the city and making sure that this city and all of its officers, all of its employees work for the benefit of the residents here. I do not believe what has happened here tonight is in the best interest of the public. There needs to be a focus on serving our residents instead of individuals and power struggles. Council prolonging this struggle over months to ensure the retention of a friend to an indefinite appointment of office that not only has fees that have not been approved in the last 20 years, but that also does not have the signature of the mayor attested by the city clerk per 46-7C, I do not believe that the attorney had a valid contract with the city.

Mayor Christopher Miller: In this regard, I’ve chosen not to sign the resolution passed by council today but i have been told that it’ll be signed by the mayor pro tem i still believe that this authority to fire the city attorney was in the power of the mayor’s office but again i will not seek to keep prolonging this out however i do ask that everybody out there pays attention to what’s going on here we have another we have another couple of years here just pay attention and if you are looking to take part in your local government just keep an eye out thank you

Councilman Christopher Tillman: I would like to say one more thing before we adjourn that with a couple of quick points and it’s important for everyone to also understand that the mayor’s termination, attempted termination of the city attorney done over a weekend in order to thwart the interest of council has left the city in a precarious position of not having legal representation. That the mayor carried out this action without any sort of plan B. And actually his actions are what left us in this predicament at this point in time. It is in the best interest of the public for us to have a city attorney. And at this point, we have just recently gone out with an RFP for a new attorney. We may end up hiring a new attorney but in the meantime, for legal sufficiency and coverage for the city, we felt it was important to make this move. So the, this matter is not by any means over, but at least the city can move forward. Thank you.

Mayor Christopher Miller: I do appreciate councilor Tillman’s remarks and i would like to make some additional remarks. While the council believes that i just did this spontaneously over a week in the city attorney position is something i’ve been looking into May of 2023. The moment i came into office, I basically looked over all the officer positions and the city attorney was a position that I was inquiring in since May of 2023. I have text messages, I have contacts with the city attorney that range back to that regard of that we have been looking into the city attorney as far as finding a new replacement since then. However, I do believe that council found out that we were looking to, we are looking into additional or another city attorney and in that regard, tried to pass an ordinance to prevent that. And in my opinion that is also them acknowledging the right of the mayor’s office to the termination of the city attorney. And if you look back at the November meeting you will see that council members have confirmed that they intended to put an ordinance into place to prevent that firing.

Thank you.

(Reminder – there may be misspellings in this transcript due to the automation that created this text. Be sure to watch the video(s) for the exact words said at the meeting)

###

You can view the extended version on this discussion from February 12th here (starting at the 3:11:05 mark of the video):

###

Here are additional sources about this story and some interesting history on this topic:

Carroll County Observer:

  • Taneytown Mayor Christopher Miller has terminated the appointment of the City Attorney (MORE)

Taneytown.net:

  • Former Taneytown attorney call out Mayor (MORE)
  • Taneytown Mayor’s actions leaves City at standstill (MORE)
  • Rift between Council & Mayor erupts into open (MORE)

Carroll County Times / Baltimore Sun

  • Taneytown Council passes resolution to reinstate fired city attorney Jack Gullo (MORE)
  • Taneytown hires new police chief; mayor fires city attorney, angering council members (MORE)

You can find the Carroll County Observer on these social media platforms:

Advertisement
Previous articleMount Airy Volunteer Fire Company and New Market District Volunteer Fire Company work a vehicle collision with rescue in Mount Airy
Next articleFrederick County Sheriff’s Office reports missing person (Joseph Skowron) last seen in Mount Airy on February 11th

Leave a Reply