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Fairmont City Council, Humpal part ways

FAIRMONT — At a special meeting Friday, the Fairmont City Council approved a separation and release agreement between the city and Mike Humpal, city administrator, by the group’s frequent 3-2 margin.

The decision was made following an 18-minute closed session.

Council member Randy Lubenow offered the motion on the separation, and Ruth Cyphers seconded it. Tom Hawkins added his affirmative vote. Council members Wayne Hasek and Bruce Peters dissented.

Because the matter involved a personnel issue, no other information was made public, and none of the council members offered any additional comment. Humpal declined any comment, on the advice of his attorney.

On Oct. 14, the council, again by a 3-2 vote, elected to put Humpal on paid administrative leave, offering no reason for the move. Humpal has served as administrator since May 31, 2012. He served the city for many years prior as its economic development director.

Troy Nemmers, city engineer/public works director, was selected to serve as interim city administrator.

In another matter Friday, the council approved an appendix to the separation and release agreement between the city and Elizabeth Bloomquist, who had served as in-house city attorney for 32 years. The council had received additional information prior to the meeting, but neither that information nor the contents of the appendix and release agreement were made public at the time.

On a motion by Peters and second by Hawkins, the council supported the motion by a 4-1 vote, with Lubenow dissenting.

Again, none of the council members offered additional comments.

Since Bloomquist’s departure six months ago, the city has entered into a contract with the Martin County Attorney to handle its criminal matters. Flaherty & Hood, a Minneapolis law firm, has been handling the city’s civil matters on an interim basis.

The council will meet for a work session from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Monday to review requests for proposals from legal firms interested in becoming the city’s contracted outside legal counsel for civil matters.

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