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Westminster City Manager Is Put on Leave

Council members take action against Vangie Schock, whose performance will be evaluated. She's being paid for the 30 days.

April 05, 2006|David Reyes | Times Staff Writer

Without discussion, Westminster's City Council ordered the city manager placed on a 30-day administrative leave while officials conduct a confidential performance evaluation.

Vangie Schock, who left Lawndale nearly two years ago to take Westminster's top job, will continue to be paid during the evaluation, said Police Chief Andrew E. Hall, who will serve as interim city manager. Schock earns $152,500 a year.

Council members made the decision Friday at a special meeting in which they discussed Schock's performance in a closed session, Hall said. He declined to comment further.

Schock could not be reached for comment.

The probe is administrative and will analyze "some performance questions" about Schock and workplace environment issues, said City Atty. Richard Jones.

"This does not involve any criminal activity," he said.

City Hall observers said Schock's brusque management style had rubbed some the wrong way and specified a March 22 meeting during which council members expressed concern that, without their approval, a proposed travel policy had been altered to favor the city manager.

According to a videotape of the council meeting, the proposed language for the travel policy had originally said the city manager needed the council's approval before leaving on business trips. But when it was brought back before the council for a final vote, it said the city manager could go on trips and submit expenses to the City Council upon return.

"This adding and deleting language to the travel policy ... I do not support it being slipped in," Councilman Kermit D. Marsh said at the meeting.

Councilman Andy Quach agreed: "I don't support it being sneaked in to our second reading."

The council quickly voted to quash the new policy.

The review will be conducted by the city attorney's office and the interim city manager, Jones said. Once completed, the results will be brought to council members, who can decide on disciplinary measures, if any are warranted. The council can also decide to do nothing, Jones said.

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