Wood said it is illegal for a city secretary to work for two cities, something he said he has been aware of since July.
“Everbody knows about it,” Wood said. “Nobody’s done anything.”
However, Wood said he was told at the time that the issue was being addressed in a proposed ethics policy, a document he doesn’t believe the town council is any closer to adopting.
They currently have rules and regulations regarding how the town is being run that are not being followed, Wood said, adding that “we need to first follow the rules we have.”
Pinckard said that Lawler is not the city secretary for Annetta; rather, her title is special assistant to the mayor of Annetta South.
“This was fully disclosed at her hiring by the Town of Annetta and reviewed by the attorney for Annetta as well as Annetta South,” Pinckard said, adding that certain efficiencies were achieved and the two towns have not had disputes since Lawler was hired.
“Mr. Wood, as well as other council members, only recently voiced concerns when they found Mrs. Lawler unagreeable to some of their requests as they conflicted with her role as city secretary and her responsibility to answer to her supervisor, which is defined to be the mayor and not individual councilmen,” Pinckard said, noting that the legality issue was not brought up during the Jan. 17 meeting but that any ethical issues should be addressed with an ethics policy.
After recent incidents involving information he believed should have been kept confidential, Wood said he decided to add both issues to the council’s agenda.
Wood said he was concerned that a councilman couldn’t ask a question and get an answer without it being widespread.
“I felt like the mayor was beating me up for calling the attorney [with questions],” Wood said, adding that he began calling the city secretary and asking about questions he had that might have already been addressed by the city attorney.