Citing legal restrictions on releasing information on personnel moves, Rawlins city officials are providing little information about this week’s firing of City Attorney Amy Bach.
Bach, who had been with the city in several roles over the past 14 years, was terminated on a unanimous 5-0 vote of the Rawlins City Council on Tuesday after an hour-long executive session during the council’s regular meeting.
Mayor Terry Weickum said he couldn’t elaborate about why Bach was fired or what may have led up to the move. He also said the path moving forward is clear.
The council will hire someone quickly who can serve as interim city attorney while a more formal search is done.
“We’re pretty interested in getting somebody as quickly as possible,” he said.
Asked what he would tell residents who push for more information about Bach’s termination, Weickum had some advice.
“Go educate yourselves on personnel laws then I’d invite them back to tell me what I’m doing wrong,” he said. “Personnel is almost never fun. I don’t care if you’re hiring or not. But managing personnel is just one part of the job (of a council member).”
Bach was first hired in July 2007 as an assistant city attorney, according to the city. In November 2010, her job description changed to include 10% work as an assistant city attorney and 90% as community development director. She was appointed acting city attorney in February 2013 and given the job permanently in September 2013.
Tuesday’s executive session was at least the second time in less than two years that the City Council discussed Bach’s employment.
In January 2020, the council met for nearly two hours in an executive session, then fired then-City Manager Scott Hannum and Municipal Court Judge Joshua Merseal. According to a Rawlins Times story about the firings, Bach’s job also was on the chopping block but the council unanimously voted to keep her.
Citing personnel laws, details of those discussions and firings also weren’t released.
For now, the focus is on replacing Bach, said City Manager Shawn Metcalf in a prepared statement.
“We will do our best to alleviate impacts for the public,” Metcalf said. “The city of Rawlins will hire an interim city attorney as soon as possible and also post the city attorney position this week.
“Our job postings go out nationally through Indeed and other job boards. We will also be advertising in specific publications geared toward attorneys.”