City administrator on leave as investigation continues

Local News

The Eldridge City Council on Friday agreed to hire a temporary city administrator and investigator after City Administrator Lisa Kotter earlier was placed on paid administrative leave.

The council also agreed to hire an investigator at a cost of $5,000 or less.

After the hour-long special meeting at City Hall, Mayor Marty O’Boyle said Kotter “was ordered to turn over her cell phone, laptop and keys” on Monday. She then was put on paid administrative leave pending an investigation after another city employee filed a complaint, he said.

He did not say what the investigation involves.

The council earlier voted City Council member Bernie Peeters to serve as the point person in the process.

“Everybody’s been very, very cooperative of the process,” he said. “Obviously it’s not a situation we want to be in.”

“None of this is coming from me, it’s coming through me,” he said. “This is all coming from our attorneys and I’m just relaying to you what they think is the best move for the city.”

“Lisa is out of the office. She cannot have personal contact,” said Peeters, who is in contact with Kotter and spoke with her Thursday night and Friday morning. “She is comfortable with the process.”

Retired City Administrator John Dowd will temporarily serve as city administrator. After the meeting, O’Boyle said Dowd most likely will be in place by Monday, when the city council will meet again.

“All the legal advice said we need to do this as quickly as possible,” Peeters said.

“Don’t assume guilt in this,” said council member Brian Dockery, who attended the meeting by phone.

“John was our administrator for quite some time,” said council member Frank King. “Lisa replaced him. The city hasn’t changed that much since he started his retirement, so he knows the inner workings.”

Kotter’s Quad-City city service

On March 29, 2019, the City of Moline announced Kotter was selected as the final candidate for Moline’s new city administrator.

Before that, she was the Geneseo city administrator since February 2015. She also served Riverdale for a short time, O’Boyle said after the meeting, and served municipalities in Wisconsin previously.

According to the City of Riverdale website, she left the city of Riverdale last year to work for the City of Eldridge.

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