Alpine City Council Votes to Fire City Attorney 9/17/13
September 17, 2013
Alpine - Controversy continued in the city of Alpine Tuesday night. The small town began to take notice of big issues concerning the cities finances just last week. To put it in perspective the interim city finance manager says the cities operating budget is off by more than 30 million dollars. Now a man whose sole job is to make sure people are held accountable has been fired.
It was clear how much support John Armstrong had amongst the Alpine citizens. When the decision was made final, the room stood in support of Armstrong as he walked out with his head held high.
Alpines concerns all began last week when officials announced the cities financial situation was described as being quote a big mess
"This year it is going to be tough," said Alpineís Interim City Finance Manager Deborah Pattison.
CBS 7 spoke with Armstrong before the meeting where he said the discussion of firing him began when he started questioning the financial problems.
"We have over $100,000 in utility deposits which is a liability in the city, we donít have the money to cover it right now, they werenít set aside. We have bad accounting practices here and they are saying donít worry," said Armstrong.
Armstrong wasn't alone; at the council meeting dozens of citizens came to support him. Some even spoke out asking council to reconsider.
"Now we think, of course we are going to resolve whatever problems some of us seem to think you have with him by sweeping him out of the door?" said one Alpine citizen.
After about a 15 minute discussion the decision to fire John was made final by a two to three vote. Before and after the meeting Armstrong stayed positive saying his practice has always been held to a high standard.
"The way I handle problems is, I get my arms around them, I handle them honestly and then we figure out how to fix them. We donít say they donít exist, thatís what they are doing," said Armstrong.
Armstrong says even though he doesnít work for the city anymore, he will continue privately practicing law.