Solicitor responds to request by Tim Canada to subpoena former city manager Tom Carroll
Loveland, Ohio – On Tuesday, August 22, local business owner Tim Canada gave a speech at the Loveland Council meeting and said that former City Manager Tom Carroll spent $15,000 in 2013 when he hired a lobbyist group called the Colwell Group. Canada said that a total of $25,000 was paid to the Colwell Group throughout 2013, but he could not find any authorization from Council He suggested Council issue a subpoena to Carroll to investigate the $25,000 expenditure. He was essentially asking the question to Councilman Rob Weisgerber who was on Council at the time and is seeking re-election. Weisgerber said that he would respond to Canada at a later time.
Later in the meeting, Councilmember Pam Gross did respond to the allegations made by Canada. She also said that the contract with the Colwell Group was illegal, and was the same argument Council Members had for Rob Stansel’s contract. Stansel was the former economic director that had recently been let go because his contract exceeded the spending authority of current City Manager Dave Kennedy. Gross said she appreciated the fact that Mr. Weisgerber wanted to move forward, however she felt it was important to note that the Colwell Group contract was the same as Stansel’s contract and questioned why Stansel’s contract caused such an uproar, but Weisgerber wanted to gloss over the Colwell Group contract.
At the Tuesday, September 12 meeting, Weisgerber responded. He said that there was nothing illegal about the contracts with the Colwell Group, nor were there any City procedures or spending authority violated. He noted that in the 1990’s, Loveland had a city manager that did break up contracts to get around the spending limit and at that time, Council changed the rules to be very specific about the spending limit and how to break up contracts into separate issues/engagements, which are the rules today. He explained that the Colwell Group was used for three separate engagements, had separate contracts, and separate rates for specific issues. He reiterated that nothing illegal was done, no rules were violated, and the City Manager acted within his authority. He turned to Joe Braun the City Solicitor and asked him to confirm what he was saying.
Braun said that he reached out to Canada when he said the City had acted illegally and asked for a subpoena to be issued to the former city manager. He said that he also researched the Colwell Group contracts and asked the clerk of council to pull documents for him so he could check the facts. Braun stated that he came to the same conclusion that Weisgerber did, there was nothing illegal done, there were three separate contracts with the Colwell Group for three separate amounts, three different hourly rates, three different time periods, and three different objectives. He reiterated that there was nothing illegal done and no rules were violated.
In these three LOVELAND MAGAZINE TV videos you can watch Councilwoman Pam Gross and Tim Canada raising the issue of the Colwell Group contract and Weisgerber and Braun saying there was nothing illegal about how Carroll handled them.