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Mayor, Fire Chief At A Standstill Over Retirement Deal

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Mayor, Fire Chief At A Standstill Over Retirement Deal

By Kimberly Foley. CREATED Sep 4, 2013 - UPDATED: Sep 4, 2013
Omaha, NE -- The war of words continues this week as Mayor Jean Stothert and Fire Chief Mike McDonnell continue to battle over McDonnell's retirement deal. 
On Friday afternoon, McDonnell's retirement deal with the city fell through.
He wanted to make changes to the deal, and Stothert refused. At 4:30 P.M., the deal became null and void. 
Later Friday night, McDonnell found out he was being investigated by the city.
On Saturday morning, McDonnell called the city attorney to try to come up with another deal.
The timeline is something both he and the mayor agree on. What they don't agree on is everything else.
McDonnell said former Mayor Suttle agreed to have the city pay for his masters, which was one amendment he said he submitted to the mayor.
"It says, 'agreement,' and it has a place for me to sign my name on it," said Stothert. "It has in here about his tuition."
McDonnell disagreed. 
"She could have signed anyone of these three and not one of these three had anything to do with tuition," he said. 
McDonnell said he is willing to go back and sign the original agreement.
"The bottom line is, if this is about language, then why aren't we signing the agreement that we've already signed once?" he asked. "The memorandum of understanding-- just make it an agreement and sign it. She's already signed once, definitely had no problem with all this language. I'm fine. OK then sign this one."
The mayor said an "original agreement" no longer exists.
"We're not saying there is an original M.O.U right now because the original one expired," said Stothert. "I don't know what he submitted, but apparently he submitted three things. Am I supposed to pick one out of the three, maybe put them all in a hat and draw them out of a hat? I don't know what Mike McDonnell is asking right now."
Stothert said she will go over what McDonnell submitted and will discuss it with city attorneys before deciding the next step.