Thursday, June 13, 2013

Omaha's new GOP mayor, Jean Stothert, issues gag order to more than 4,000 city employees; internal memo is immediately leaked to KMTV

Effective immediately, all interaction with the news media by any Department directors or any staff mem­ber of any city depart­ment regarding matters of City govern­ment will first be reviewed and approved by the Mayor's Chief of Staff or the Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications
           — Stothert memo

     Steve LeClair, president of Omaha's Fire Union, cc'd some reporters on a memo asking for "clarification," in which he also opined:
Omaha Fire Union President Steve LeClair (left, KETV)
and Fire Chief Mike McDonnell (City of Omaha).
McDonnell recently fired Jean Stothert's husband
"I have immediate concern that a Mayor who campaigned on a platform of, among other things, transparency in government has taken the position of 'circle the wagons and everyone keep your mouths shut' within 48 hours of being sworn in."
     Omaha Fire Chief Mike McDonnell, whose inability to be easily fired by Stothert is probably eating her alive and may have driven her to find a way to muzzle him, bailed on a scheduled interview with Nebraska Watchdog; KMTV, which was set to interview McDonnell about a new fire class that Stothert said had not been budgeted for, said he canceled on them too, and they haven't been able to contact him since.
     AKSARBENT suggests they look in Hong Kong.

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