East Providence Council calls special session about complaint, manager's performance

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EAST PROVIDENCE — The City Council has a called a special meeting for Wednesday night, Feb. 3, where the body is expected to discuss the recent workplace complaint filed by a high level employee and the corresponding actions of the sitting manager.

It begins with an executive session at 7 p.m. On the docket are a discussion of the Human Rights complaint filed by HR Director Kathleen Waterbury and a performance review of City Manager Richard Kirby. An open session follows at 7:30 p.m.

According to City Charter, Mr. Kirby or any city manager has the option to hold their review in a public forum, which he is expected to do. Of note, the manager has retained a lawyer to be present on his behalf.

Speculation about the performance review centers around the possible suspension of Mr. Kirby for his actions, and in some instances inaction, in the city's response Ms. Waterbury's complaint.

Among his purported moves at issue was the retention of outside legal counsel to augment the city solictor's office at a cost of $7,500. This was supposedly done in the event of any potential conflicts involving Solicitor Tim Chapman in the case. There is allegedly a dispute about whether or nor Mr. Kirby notified the Council and Mr. Chapman of the move in a timely fashion.

 

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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.