NEW PORT RICHEY – Interim New Port Richey City Manager Susan Dillinger has fired the city's finance and human resources directors for undisclosed reasons, Mayor Bob Consalvo confirmed late Friday.
Consalvo said Dillinger informed him of the firings Thursday but she did not disclose a reason, saying she was acting upon the advice of the city's attorney. Finance Director Doug Haag has been with the city since June 2011 and Human Resources Director Lindy Thomas was hired in April 2011.
"It was a tough call to make and she felt she had to do it to keep the operations of the city going," Consalvo said.
The mayor said he received the following email Thursday from Dillinger saying she had appointed two longtime employees to fill the now vacant positions:
"Today, I appointed Nancy Hildebrand as acting director of finance and Bernie Wharran as acting director of human resources. Please contact them for your finance and human resources needs. We will be advertising to fill the vacant positions," Dillinger wrote.
Dillinger could not be reached for comment.
Dillinger has been serving on an interim basis for nearly a year, but has said she doesn't want the job permanently. The move comes as the city is preparing to put the final touches on its budget at a hearing Monday. The City Council also recently re-opened its search for a new city manager, seeking a broader crop of candidates.