Councilor Wants City CAO Placed on Leave | News | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Councilor Wants City CAO Placed on Leave

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Democratic City Councilor Ed Adrian is calling on Mayor Bob Kiss to place his top administrator on unpaid leave while a full investigation is conducted into how the city loaned $17 million to Burlington Telecom.

The $17 million loan from the city to BT was first reported in "Fair Game" several weeks ago, and its revelation has released a torrent of criticism from the general public to top state regulators.

Kiss yesterday said he would support an independent audit of Burlington Telecom's finances. The city council meets tonight in a special session to discuss the recent spate of news related to BT.

Adrian informed Kiss' office this afternoon about his request, and had a half-hour talk with the mayor's assistant, Joe Reinert.

In his letter, Adrian said BT is at a critical  turning point and making the wrong decision could spell doom for the fledgling telecom venture.

"BT may stillbe a viable venture for Burlington, but it has become clear to me overthe last month that it has been mismanaged and that the CAO isresponsible for this mismanagement," wrote Adrian. "For the people of Burlington, the City, andBT, I would encourage you to move forward and support a leave of absencefor the CAO and an independent investigation that will determine themistakes that were made and keep BT from making similar errors in thefuture."

Adrian told Seven Days the leave of absence should last as long as it takes to conduct a review of Chief Administrative Officer Jonathan Leopold's actions.

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