By Leslie Parrilla, San Bernardino Sun
Posted: 07/02/14, 8:18 PM PDT |

COLTON >> New information came to light this week about an investigation related to the city manager being placed on administrative leave, with concerns mounting during a troubled City Council meeting rife with complaints from the public.

Colton councilmembers argued during Tuesday’s meeting about whether they could discuss an agenda item that laid out six public works contracts, primarily for consulting services, totaling $81,851, that were approved by City Manager Stephen Compton without knowledge or consent from the public works department.

Among the contracts listed were payments for a long-term financial plan modeling project in August 2013, consulting services for a development impact review in October 2013, for the Colton and Grand Terrace Wastewater Project signed March 13, and a separate contract with a different contractor for the same project dated March 7, according to the report.

Compton was placed on paid administrative leave June 5 pending an investigation of “certain personnel actions taken,” according to a city statement released June 9. He has not returned calls for comment.

“There are items and questions in this item that we should not be discussing in public … relevant to the investigation,” Councilman David Toro said during the meeting.

Councilman Frank Gonzales pushed for answers about the spending, saying the item was already made public and should be discussed. He questioned whether it was supposed to be made public because the council members refused to discuss it.

“If that was the case, it shouldn’t have been put here to begin with,” Gonzales said.

Ultimately, the council voted 6-1, with Gonzales dissenting, to pull the item off the agenda.

“I was going to ask what happened,” Gonzales said after the meeting. “There was a paragraph that the director indicated that after the budget, he found out that money had been taken out of a department by the city manager … The city manager apparently took money out without the authorization of the director.”

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