DEL CITY — The terminations of two Del City officials who allowed piles of cash to stack up around the clerk’s office were upheld Wednesday by the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals.
The city manager acted within the law when he fired former City Treasurer Renae Malloy and former Deputy City Clerk Tammy Rice in January 2011 for allowing large piles of cash and checks totaling $27,299 to stack up for about six weeks, the appellate court ruled.
“These piles were described as cash in piles with rubber bands around them and notes paperclipped to the money,” the court said. “The city clerk, Carol Noble, testified she spent about 10 hours determining where the cash came from and what it applied to.”
State law and city policy required daily deposits.
“Employees complained of being assigned too much work and they needed more overtime or more help that they were not getting,” the judges noted.
The fired officials also contended their terminations were “for political or other reasons, they were set up to fail and that there had been another time when as much as $100,000 was allowed to accumulate with no daily deposits, all due to a computer crash, and no disciplinary action followed.”
They argued the city manager had an obligation to inform them of their neglect of duty, counsel them, provide them with assistance and give them a reasonable time to improve before resorting to termination.
In firing the employees, the city manager said “such willful disregard of city policy constituted gross incompetence, insufficiency and negligence sufficient to warrant Rice and Malloy’s termination without counseling or a reprimand.”
The appellate court rejected the fired employees’ contention that their terminations were political.
“Nothing other than speculation indicates termination motivated by ‘political’ intent,” the judges said. “We find no merit to this argument.”