Colton city officials have fired city manager Stephen Compton, but that’s all they’ll say about that. Officials said Friday no further details about the situation will be released.
On Thursday, the Colton City Council held a special meeting where they voted unanimously to terminate Compton, effective immediately. Here’s what we know about the situation: A personnel investigation found that Compton had overspent his authority in contracts after approving $23,000 more than his $25,000 limit. Additionally, the report showed that he had hired temporary employees without following proper city procedures.
Compton denies the infractions found during the investigation, saying that he was looking into financial problems at the city that he hoped to explain to the public, but was never given a public hearing by the city to explain himself.
So why is the city keeping mum on the whole issue? City leaders say they have not released certain information about the ordeal to the public because it personnel matter and cannot be discussed publicly. Councilmember David Toro has told the press that he hopes to one day be able to tell the public his thought process behind his decision to terminate Compton despite being supportive of him for much of his tenure.
“We needed to move in a different direction and find a city manager that would come in and have a different management style,” Toro said. “I’m not saying Steve Compton did anything wrong to be fired, I’m just saying the City Council, and me included, without being pressured or lobbied by anyone, made a conscious decision that it was in the best interest for the city, the employees, and the businesses and everything that we look for a different city manager.”
The council must complete the termination process before they can begin the search for a new city manager. Department heads will be rotated to serve as temporary city managers for two weeks at a time until a permanent replacement is found.
Compton has the right to appeal the council decision in a civil lawsuit.
Read more about the manager’s firing here.