After three executive sessions and hours of discussion, the Lake Havasu City Council voted unanimously to institute a professional development plan for City Manager Jess Knudson.
The City Council called the executive sessions to evaluate the performance of Knudson after photos and videos appeared on social media and were sent anonymously to council members and Today's News-Herald. One photo that appeared to be taken after hours in the mayor's office showed a woman who was briefly employed by the city as a dispatcher with Knudson visible in a reflection. Several videos showed Knudson drinking alcohol with the same woman. Council members were also sent an anonymous letter decrying Knudson’s performance as city manager and calling for him to be fired.
During a public hearing on Thursday, Mayor Cal Sheehy said during the executive sessions the council conducted in-depth analysis of Knudson’s job performance before ultimately deciding on the six-month professional development plan.
“We put together a development plan that will be a path forward for us to give Jess the tools that he needs to be able to perform his job to the level that we expect as a council,” Sheehy explained after the meeting.
The six-month timeline would bring the city manager evaluation back before the City Council sometime around late February or early March.
City officials said further details about the analysis conducted by the council and what will be included in the professional development plan are unavailable due to state law barring disclosure of what was discussed in an executive session, and because it is a personnel matter for the city.