GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - 24 Hour News 8 has learned new information about the firing of Grand Rapids City Clerk Lauri Parks.
An audio recording from Tuesday's meeting, which ended in Parks' dismissal from her job, was uncovered.
The audio begins after Parks abruptly left the session according to minutes from that meeting.
In the audio recording, Mayor George Heartwell discusses with fellow commissioner two options presented to Parks.
One deal allowed Parks to resign as clerk. But the city would have given her another job at city hall.
The specifics of that job were not discussed.
The second option allowed Parks to resigned without a final evaluation, presumably preventing details of her work related problems with the city from becoming part of the public record.
She would have had the opportunity to write her own letter of recommendation, which Heartwell said he would have signed with some editing.
"Neither of these options was accepted within the time frame allowed," Heartwell is heard on the recording.
The commission then discussed the various evaluations that outlined many of the issues.
Unidentified employees in the Clerk's office complained of on-going problems.
"Ms. Parks does not easily accept advice coaching or mentoring," wrote one employee.
"The word narcissist makes me think of her," another employee wrote. "She's spending too much time and effort on surveys, feel-good activities/projects/assignments."
Other top officials at city hall wrote that "Lauri often times will not take helped offered to her by supporting departments."
She did have a few supporters, but apparently not enough to save her job.
While most Grand Rapids city commissioners didn't return emails seeking comment, reports in Parks last evaluation included comments from some commissioners that indicated much of what was in that first report was taken into account when they decided to fire her.
"Too little progress has occurred to address concerns to justify reappointment." wrote Second Ward Commissioner Ruth Kelly.
"Unfortunately, she's over her head," wrote Third Ward Commissioner James White.
The final vote was six to one. The other third ward commissioner, Elias Lumkpins, supported Parks, saying beyond rumors and allegations, there was no reason to fire her.
"Earlier in the year, we agreed to a process that I thought was fair, however, there were no concrete details as to what improvements were needed," wrote Lumpkins.
Parks, who earned about $94,000 a year as city clerk, will be on paid administrative leave until her term ends in January
She was not available for comment.
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