In a Jan. 5 email to city staff, Monterey’s Acting City Manager Hans Uslar revealed what led to the sudden departure of former City Manager Mike McCarthy on Dec. 18.
McCarthy is being investigated for alleged “sexual improprieties,” according to the email. The probe is being conducted by Joe Rose of the Sacramento-based law firm Rose Law and began on Nov. 29.
McCarthy’s sudden resignation followed more than a week of medical leave. McCarthy had worked for the city for 13 years, serving as its top administrator since 2014.
McCarthy has admitted to an extra-marital affair with another city employee. He says the woman’s husband filed the complaint as retribution, but that the relationship was completely consensual.
“I'm devastated by the hurt I brought on to my family," McCarthy said of the tryst. "I wish I could take it back. I'm doing everything I can now to regain [my wife's] trust.”
McCarthy’s resignation and the revelations about the investigation come amid some existing upheaval at City Hall. In mid-November, McCarthy fired the city’s fire chief Gaudenz Panholzer. Since taking over as acting city manager, Hans Uslar has reversed course and decided to keep Panholzer on board. Meanwhile, until recently the city’s former fire chief Andrew Miller was suing the city, claiming it underpaid him by $850 per month in retirement benefits. He dropped his lawsuit shortly after Panholzer’s firing.