GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - A week after firing city clerk Lauri Parks, Grand Rapids’ deputy clerk has a new title and a bump in pay.
Darlene O'Neal has been named acting city clerk.
City commissioners voted unanimously to increase O'Neal’s pay to $95,000 while she fills the vacant clerk position.
That is the same salary set for Parks, who was fired last week after a number of issues came up during her employment reviews.
The City will not name a new deputy clerk.
Mayor George Heartwell says it makes no sense to appoint a deputy clerk without knowing when the City may fill the clerk's position on a permanent basis.
Heartwell said he will work with city manager Greg Sundstrom to provide O'Neal with additional help in the office.
Just how long O'Neal will be acting clerk remains to be seen. The mayor indicated it may be four to six months.
"It is my intent to permit Darlene O’Neal to remain acting clerk long enough to stabilize the organization, both functionally and emotionally," Heartwell said.
While Heartwell and others on the commission have refused to discuss Park's firing, her performance review, obtained by 24 Hour News 8 under the Freedom of Information Act, paints a picture of a dysfunctional clerk's office and unhappy employees.
O'Neal has her work cut out for her. Parks’ firing came just a month before the Nov. 5 general election.
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