One week after being removed from his position as City Administrator, Chase Waggoner has started telling his side of the story.
Waggoner, who was originally hired with a $52,500 salary and has since received a four-month severance package, spoke candidly in an article with his hometown newspaper, “The Lebanon Daily Record.”
In the article, he told a reporter that he suspected he lost his job because he didn’t allow the city council to micromanage the city.
“It was far and away the most dysfunctional place I have ever worked, and quite honestly, I think that when they hired me—I was hired to be a city administrator, and I don’t think they wanted a city administrator,” he said. “I think the mayor and the Board of Aldermen wanted to micromanage the city operations, and they wanted to bring in somebody who they could kind of push around and who was going to be a scapegoat if something ended up going wrong.”
He was credited in the same article for saying the city was in poor financial condition and added that officials were resistant to his proposed cuts.
He reportedly said the aldermen wanted to give employment raises though the city couldn’t afford them and even received a handwritten paper from the mayor with employee names who wanted raises on it.
“Frankly, I was asked to do some things that I thought were unethical and were not legal, and I stood my ground, and I got let go,” he went on to say.
Waggoner also referenced the situation involving the part-time officers.
He claimed the officers knew they were going to be fired to make room for full-time officers so he says they allegedly began writing tickets to him and the incoming police chief in order to make their dismissal look suspicious.
“I really didn’t want to…bash the Board of Aldermen in the Vandalia newspaper because I was going to leave there and never come back, but since Lebanon is my hometown, and I do aspire to come back here full-time sometime, I want the people of my hometown community to know what a hatchet job this was,” Waggoner was quoted in the article written by reporter Kelly Morgan.
On March 1, aldermen unanimously approved a measure to remove Wag-goner from his position.
During his approximately seven months in office, Waggoner was able to put together some accomplishments. During that time, the city was able to save more than $100,000 through the pool refinancing project, he helped the city obtain approximately around $30,000 in grants, and he helped an effort in updating the electric network.
He was also in the spotlight in January when he received a pair of traffic citations. Within that same two week period, officers involved in those citations were also let go on the first day the new Police Chief was serving full time.
Many residents expressed their frustration with the decision on Social Media before the three let-go officers were put on paid administrative leave pending an investigation.
Before coming to Vandalia, Waggoner was the fire chief for Gerard, Kansas. He also served as a city councilman for two terms in Lebanon, Mo. Later he worked full-time for two House of Representatives in Rep. Jason Holsman and Rep. John McCaherty.