Troy council votes to fire city manager
Troy — The city manager of Troy was fired Sunday, two days after being charged with assaulting a woman.
Residents who attended a rare Sunday meeting of the Troy City Council, which voted 7-0 to terminate manager Brian Kischnick, said it never should have reached that point. They said Kischnick should have been let go after past problems.
After the meeting, Mayor Dane Slater referred to Kischnick’s past issues in his work as city manager as he discussed why he voted to terminate the manager.
“This is not the first bend in the road,” he said, weighing his words carefully, seeking advice from the city labor attorney beside him about what he could and couldn’t say about the disciplinary action. “It’s never a good feeling to terminate anyone.”
In 2016 an internal city investigation found that Kischnick drove a city car while receiving a monthly allowance for his own auto, and failed to report an accident with the city car and had the city pay the other driver’s damages.
The 2016 probe also accused the city manager of other things but they were never described after the council voted 4-3 to release only a partial report.
On Sunday, angry residents called for the council to release the rest of the investigatory findings. The meeting was attended by 55 people, including a dozen city workers unhappy with Kischnick.
“I’m here to address the loss of integrity, not by (Kischnick), who never had any to begin with, but by the council, who allowed the report to be covered up,” said resident John Kulesz.
Another resident questioned the council’s handling of other events regarding Kischnick. “It makes me very disturbed as a woman,” said resident Michelle Pallas, referring to the incident Friday and charges. “It makes me wonder about this council.”
Kischnick, who wasn’t at the meeting, could not immediately be reached for comment. He was city manager for five years, after having the same job in Tittabawassee Township.
In the Friday incident, Kischnick was charged with domestic assault and battery, said city officials.
Kischnick and a woman were returning to a Clawson home after having dinner around 10 p.m. when they began to argue, said Clawson police. They got out of an Uber vehicle and walked along a sidewalk when he allegedly tackled the woman, two witnesses told police.
When the woman tried to stand up, Kischnick pushed her back down, the witnesses told police.
Clawson police didn’t identify the woman. Kischnick is divorced, said Troy city officials.
During a Saturday arraignment in 52/4 District Court in Clawson, Kischnick pleaded not guilty. He was released on $5,000 bond and ordered to avoid contact with the alleged victim.
In a handwritten letter addressed to the Troy City Council, Kischnick apologized for his actions.
“I am extremely sorry and remorseful for the events and the position in which I have put you,” he wrote.
He gave his own version of the events, saying he never tackled or pushed the woman to the ground. He said he had exited the Uber to defuse the argument, but the woman left the vehicle one or two blocks later and confronted him.
As the argument escalated, he grabbed her in self-defense and to calm her down, and they fell to the ground, he wrote. He said the woman told police she didn’t want to press charges, and that Kischnick hadn’t hurt her and would never hurt her.
“There is a complete misunderstanding of the events,” he wrote. “It is without question that I would neither hurt a female, never have nor would I cause harm to her.”
During the Sunday meeting, council members met in closed session to discuss what to do about Kischnick in light of the alleged assault. After huddling for an hour, they returned to the council chambers and voted to fire Kischnick for cause, which would make him ineligible for severance pay.
After firing Kischnick, the council voted 6-1 to make Mark Miller the acting city manager. Miller was the city director of economic and community development.
Miller has been acting city manager in the past, said city officials.