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McKinney out as Monroeville manager, Little returns in interim role

| Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Government leadership in Monroeville came full circle this week when council removed Lynette McKinney from the job and appointed Tim Little as the interim manager.

Little, 59, was the manager of Monroeville about two years ago, before he resigned amid pressure from four council members; their terms expired on Dec. 31. Council unanimously made the latest personnel changes shortly after four new council members — Ron Harvey, Linda Gaydos, Paul Caliari and Tom Wilson — were sworn in.

“This past election, the voters of Monroeville demanded change,” Councilman Steve Duncan said about the November election, which two incumbents lost.

Little will earn about $8,500 as the interim manager for the next 30 days. He received about $60,000 in severance pay when he resigned in 2012. He was hired in 2010 at $100,000 annual salary.

Despite her removal, McKinney is entitled to a 30-day paid suspension, pursuant to the home-rule charter. Her employment would end if a majority of council maintains their position after 30 days, municipal Solicitor Bruce Dice said. McKinney, 47, already off the job after being suspended in November, could not be reached for comment.

Reasons given for McKinney's removal, read by Dice, include failure to conduct evaluations of department heads and failure to provide information about an ongoing internal investigation of the computer dispatch system to three members of council.

A longtime municipal employee, she ascended to the manager's post last year and is paid about $89,000 annually.

Residents who supported her in 2013 argued that she took the correct steps in addressing a privacy violation, was proactive in hiring police officers and proposed a balanced 2014 budget without service cuts or a tax increase.

McKinney fired former police Chief Doug Cole last year amid an audit by the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General that determined unauthorized individuals accessed police records through the police dispatch computer system. Cole oversaw the police dispatch system and then-Assistant Chief Steve Pascarella managed the dispatch computer system.

If McKinney is terminated with cause, she would not be entitled to severance pay, Dice said.

McKinney's contract states that she would receive about $45,000 in severance pay if she is fired for “whatever reason.”

After resigning from Monroeville, Little was hired to manage the borough of Munhall, where he was “aggressive” in tackling the budget and day-to-day operations, Munhall Mayor Raymond Bodnar said Tuesday.

“He was pretty good, pretty efficient,” Bodnar said. “He did a good job.”

Little still lives in Monroeville from his previous stint as manager.

“I was elated that (council) approached me,” Little said. “Monroeville is my home, and it's my livelihood to be a municipal manager. What better place to practice it than here?”

Councilman Steve Duncan said Little was chosen from a list of candidates that Monroeville officials used in 2012 to find a new manager.

“I felt personally that he was a good candidate and did a good job when he was here,” Duncan said. “He knows his stuff, and he is educated.”

Councilman Nick Gresock, who was appointed deputy mayor this week, said the infighting among Monroeville officials has to stop.

“A good government is working together,” Gresock said, “listening to the residents and making informed decisions.”

Kyle Lawson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8755, or klawson@tribweb.com.

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