Iowa Town Wants Answers for City Clerk and City Attorney Firing

Curt Casper

Logan, IA (KPTM) - It started as an argument because an Eagle Scout wanted to clean up a park. Then it turned into a citywide issue. And just over a month ago, the city clerk and city attorney in Logan, Iowa both lost their jobs over it.

At the city council meeting Monday night, people wanted answers to why the two were fired.

Angela Winthers asked for her job back, but councilman Steve Johnson said she was being insubordinate by sending emails back and forth with the city attorney about her frustrations with the city.

Winthers sent them from her work account. On Monday the city council would not release the emails.

About 150 people packed the city council chambers when Winthers read the emails aloud and then asked which parts were out of line.

After a public hearing about whether Winthers should get her job back, members of the public voiced their concerns.

A newly elected councilman offered to go into a special meeting behind closed doors to get all the information out in the open.

On a five to zero vote they accepted a meeting.

They will discuss if they should rehire Winthers next Monday. Any decision will be held at the next council meeting.

Winters' attorney said she is happy with this result and that it's a step in the right direction.

Some of the town members early Monday said they felt this fight is going to get worse.

"When you are told your opinion doesn't matter and we don't want to hear it, it is harsh and people don't take to that very well," said Bill Dewitt who is upset with city council.

In an August 6th council meeting, Bill Dewitt wanted answers to why both the city's clerk and attorney were fired--but he didn't.

"Those three council members decided to vote us off the agenda, so in other words they don't want to hear they don't want to answer."

Answers to questions that began back in March when the Eagle Scouts and Kiwanis wanted to clean up walking trails in Milliman Park.

City councilman Skip Johnson lives in the area. His wife, Samantha--in July--said she was worried about people walking close to her property.

Then--in an emergency meeting--Winther and the city's attorney Joe Lauterbach were fired in an emergency meeting.

The council didn't say why at that time, but KPTM was able to obtain those emails showing Winther was bad mouthing the council and costing the city money.

At the time of her firing, the council wouldn't confirm the emails were the reason she was let go.

Since the firing, hundreds have been attending council meetings.

"As it continues to elevate, the aggravation and the anger, I have concerns," said Dewitt.

He has concerns to a problem that feels has no answers. State law prevents the city from recalling the council.