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Former chief replaces fired city secretary

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JOEY DAUBEN

The Ellis County Press

WILMER - Former Police Chief Thom Lauer was hired as city administrator, replacing the city secretary who was fired at the Dec. 19 council meeting.

Margy Chaikin-Johnstone, who was hired in August, was terminated after Wilmer City Councilman Don Hudson cited errors with a previous council meeting agenda.

Johnstone said she used a template a former city secretary used to type up the agenda, but also said an attorney general's ruling doesn't require the exact section of law be printed.

'The contents and everything were all there, but they singled me out,' Johnstone said. 'There's a dictatorship among city council members here. They have no regard whatsoever for the citizens of this community.'

Johnstone said Hudson was only putting her on the agenda to evaluate her position, not to fire her.

'Out of 16 years in state government, I have never seen

the [problems] like Wilmer has. I hope the city is annexed. This city is going nowhere fast.'

After Wilmer resident John Eggen spoke in opposition to Johnstone's termination, Hudson called Eggen a 'pawn' and an argument ensued.

'Let me ask you something Eggen, do you play chess?' Hudson asked before Eggen's 'yes' answer.

'Well you're a pawn. You're assuming we are going to [fire her]. Why weren't you man enough to come ask me my intent? You're a pawn, Eggen. I am through with you. Sit down. I'm through with you.'

After a brief shouting match, both Hudson and Eggen quieted down. Eggen said he got the impression the city council was going to fire Johnstone because the agenda stated, '…Review and consider termination of city secretary.'

Council Members Hudson, Jesse Petton, Billy Wickliffe and Tiny Lange voted to fire Johnstone. Henry Martinez voted against.

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Nelson Propane

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