Information shared on administrator discipline

By Paul Downer
Community Editor

By Paul Downer

Community Editor

A request for more information regarding the discipline of Cologne City Administrator John Douville resulted in the release of some additional details last week.

Douville was placed on paid administrative leave from May 17 through June 3, and was placed on unpaid leave from June 12-25 for the same reasons. At the time, Cologne Mayor Bernie Shambour Jr. said the action was the result of a "personnel issue."

According to a performance improvement plan shared with the Times through the Minnesota Data Practices Act, the Cologne City Council had a number of issues it wished Douville to address.

First, Douville apparently failed to present revised personnel policies drafted by the city attorney’s office in the year 2008 for adoption by the council. Second, the improvement plan states that he failed to satisfactorily supervise employees under his direction both in public works and in the city offices.

Two more issues raised in the improvement plan were that Douville misappropriated municipal funds by allowing third parties to use the community center facilities without paying the necessary fees, and that he maintained personnel data on the city’s computer system and server.

The plan further directs Douville to develop training plans and procedures for key processes, to conduct semi-monthly staff meetings with all city staff, to develop a seasonal "punch list" of tasks, and resolve any issues that arise with the Cologne ISP system.

Finally, the plan requires Douville to visit all city facilities on a weekly basis "in order to learn more about each employee’s job duties and the needs of the city and its employees," and be present at work during all regular business hours unless permission has been obtained from the city’s personnel committee to be absent.

The personal improvement plan was implemented on May 31, and the city will conduct performance evaluations on a monthly basis for four months. Failure to abide by the plan’s directions, a memorandum states, could result in further discipline up to and including termination of employment.

Douville has declined to comment publicly on the situation. He has been employed by the City of Cologne since 2004.