Three Hutto City Council members defended City Manager Odis Jones in a press release Friday afternoon against allegations of discrimination related to his decision to fire three female employees.
“I feel the City has been betrayed by former administration,” Council Member Anne Cano said in the statement. “I’m confident that we have the right leadership to continue to take Hutto in the right direction; I look forward to the future.”
“Our new City Council made the decision to hire a new City Manager with a mission in mind; to clean up City Hall and help aid in our city’s struggle for real Economic Development,” Council Member Nate Killough said.
“To bring positive Economic Development, a new injection of professionalism was needed at City Hall. I stand behind our City Manager and his leadership decisions. As a Hutto City Council member, I not only supported the hiring of Mr. Jones, but I maintain my support of him and our mission.”
Council Member Tom Hines said: “I believe the actions of our city manager are in line with the direction he has been given by the City Council. I also believe, that any and all employment decisions and changes that have been made recently, have been carried out with the best interest of the City in mind.”
Attorney Millicent Lundburg said her clients, three former Hutto city employees, had been fired because one of them complained about harassment and two of them reported a complaint about harassment and discrimination against Jones to the city’s mayor.
Lundburg said she sent a letter to the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission about the employees’ complaints. The three former employees — Melanie Melancon, the former assistant city manager; Amy McGlothlin, the former human resources director; and Wallis Meshier, a senior planner — have not yet filed formal complaints with the EEOC.
Jones said in a press conference Thursday night he had fired the three employees because they lacked the skills for the job. Mike Shaunessy, a lawyer representing Hutto, said at the press conference Thursday that Jones had done nothing wrong and the former employees’ claims were unfounded.
Hutto Mayor Doug Gaul also said at the press conference he supported the city manager.