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Payne Passes Muster for Fillmore City Manager

February 16, 1989|GERRY BRAILO SPENCER | Times Staff Writer

The Fillmore City Council, after an extensive background check, has unanimously appointed Roy Payne, now the city manager of Keizer, Ore., as its new city manager.

The examination of Payne's background was part of the council's process to get the best-qualified person, City Clerk Noreen Withers said.

"It was probably the most extensive background check of any city manager anywhere. It wasn't done because of Mr. Payne. The City Council wanted to make sure that they're going to be able to keep him a little while. They wanted a good marriage. They wanted to get on with the problems of the community."

Harassment Allegations

Last October, Fillmore went through a rancorous period when allegations surfaced that its recently hired city manager, Stanley Greene, had sexually harassed three female employees, one of them Withers.

In hiring Payne, the council appointed a seven-member advisory committee to screen nine candidates and used the firm of Ralph Andersen & Associates, a nationally known recruiting firm, to assess the candidates, Withers said.

Once the selection process had been narrowed to Payne, 45, the city contracted with the Ventura County Sheriff's Department to investigate him. In addition, acting City Manager Norm Blacher, Mayor Delores Day and Councilman Roger Campbell went to Keizer early this month to check on Payne's background and references.

Payne, who has been Keizer's city manager since its incorporation as a city in 1982, said the background check on him "was a most thorough one. I'm not sure why they did it."

Native of Torrance

A native of Torrance, Payne said he was looking forward to moving back to California, where members of his family live.

"I'm very excited about the opportunity to work in Fillmore and very honored that they chose me," he said.

Greene, who resigned amid the sexual-harassment allegations, had no charges brought against him by the city. However, Withers and another employee, Barbara Adams, filed a charge of discrimination with the state Department of Fair Employment and Housing.

Those files on Withers and Adams, according to Ted Herzberg, district administrator of that agency, were closed last fall.

Herzberg said the agency withdrew from the case because Withers and Adams elected to take court action.

Withers refused to discuss the allegations, and Adams was not available for comment.

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