Ottawa County Executive Health Officer Adeline Hambley listens during a dismissal hearing at the county courthouse in West Olive on October 25, 2023.
OLIVE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) – Ottawa County commissioners are scheduled to vote today on whether to fire Executive Health Officer Adeline Hambley after holding off on making a decision for more than a week.
A hearing on Hambly’s firing will resume at 9 a.m. at the county courthouse in West Olive.it is Stream live on woodtv.com.
Hambly told News 8 last week that he expected to be fired.
“They voted to fire me on January 3rd, so I don’t think it’s unexpected,” Hambly said. “What I didn’t expect was that this was delayed and it’s a complete circus that we’re operating in right now.”
He said he would do his best to ensure a smooth transition in the event of his dismissal.
Public hearing has begun After hearing two days of testimony, commissioners decided to postpone the vote until next Monday. When the committee reconvened on October 30, committee chair Joe Moss moved on. delay voting againthis time for one week.
“I believe it is in our best interest to adjourn this meeting a little longer to give everyone enough time to continue to consider all of the tremendous amount of information and answer any questions,” Moss said at the time. Stated.
The document signed by Moss set out the reasons Hanbly would lose his job. Alleging incompetence, negligence, or misconduct In terms of how she responded to and communicated to the press about the recent budgeting process.
Ms. Hambly’s attorney, Sarah Howard, sought to show that her client’s goal was to ensure that her department could continue to function and provide services, and that Administrator John Gibbs removed Hanbly from the budgeting process. I tried to prove that I was trying to shut him out. Mr. Hambley testified. She went to the media because it seemed like Gibbs intended to limit this behavior. The general fund for her department is $2.5 million.she said she would shut down her department. Mr Howard argued that Mr Hambley would have been negligent if he had not made his concerns known to the public.
County leaders, including Gibbs, argue that Hambly’s offer of $2.5 million to the public was reckless because it spread unwarranted fear.
“I think it’s very responsible, again, to go public and tell the press something that’s still in progress and hasn’t been finalized,” Gibbs said.
County attorney David Kallman did not call any witnesses of his own, but said in closing arguments that the evidence presented by Howard showed that Mr. Hambley was not, in fact, excluded from the proceedings. about the budget, which she noted had been copied in a number of emails.
commissioner and gibbs finally decided The health department will receive approximately $4.8 million from the general fund. The health department’s total allocation for the fiscal year that started last month was lower than the previous year.
Committee members supported by conservative political action committee Ottawa Impact It was moved at the first meeting in January. Aiming to replace Hambly.she sued, argued that it violated a state law that requires the board to provide reasons for firing a health officer. In response, commissioners argued that because Hanbly’s appointment was never finalized, she was not technically a health officer.The Michigan Court of Appeals ultimately ruled that Hanbly was duly appointed, but the board could fire her. If cause can be proven under state law.
County leaders have filed an application with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to approve the appointment of Nathaniel Kelly as the new health officer. letter MDHHS informed Gibbs that the agency could not consider Kelly while Hambley continued to work. kellypreviously worked as a safety manager for a heating and cooling system service and repair company in Grand Rapids. Criticized the new coronavirus infection mitigation measures Wearing masks, social distancing, etc.