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League of Oregon Cities pays up for substandard work

Banks residents may have seen the last chapter of their Kyle Awesome saga.

Last Tuesday, May 14, the council approved a $12,500 settlement with the League of Oregon Cities for damages the city suffered after the abrupt resignation of former Banks City Manager Kyle Awesome.

Awesome left last fall after questions about his resume arose. The city of Banks hired the League of Oregon Cities to perform a background check on Awesome, which officials later said did not meet their own standards.

Several elements of Awesome’s resume did not check out, including the master’s and doctoral degrees listed.

“It appears questionable whether the candidate ultimately selected met the minimum qualifications established by the council (at least five years progressively responsible experience in municipal/public management, degree in public administration or related field). It also appears his graduate education was seriously misrepresented,” read a letter to the LOC general counsel from Hillsboro attorney David Noren, whom Banks officials hired to negotiate with the LOC.

The settlement is “based on what the city went through at that time — the time and effort, and outcome of the fallout with Awesome,” said Jolynn Becker, interim city manager.

After the months-long process of selecting and hiring a city manager, Awesome only held the position a few months before his sudden departure, leaving the city in a tailspin.

In the letter, Noren wrote he believed there were three potential legal theories to support a claim for payment by the LOC to the city.

“First is a straightforward breach of contract claim: LOC failed to perform the work it agreed to perform,” the letter reads.

“The second is a claim for negligence,” the letter continues. The third was negligent misrepresentation.

After a few months of negotiations, the city accepted $12,500.

The LOC already refunded more than $6,000 the city paid for applicant screening services and advertising for the position.

Awesome also repaid the $10,000 the city gave him last year to offset moving costs.

“We’re happy it’s over and we’re moving forward,” Becker said.

Contract Publishing

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