Normal council holds special session addressing ethics of City Manager

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NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD) — Town of Normal leaders returned in-person to council chambers Monday night for an “unfortunate” topic of discussion.

The session addressed City Manager Pamela Reece and whether or not she violated a code of ethics after Councilmember Stan Nord raised concerns at last Monday’s regularly scheduled town council meeting.

According to Nord, Reece and other town staff on multiple instances have discouraged communication between council members and residents.

Nord cited three instances specifically in which he believes Reece violated ethics; the Town of Normal Citizens’ Summit in 2019, the One Normal Plaza rezoning process and guidance from council in risk of interfering in town purchases.

The five other councilmember and Mayor Chris Koos apologized Monday night to Reece for not sticking up for her last week. They all agreed Reece is a woman of integrity.

Councilmember Kevin McCarthy was absent last week, but said he’s seen the video and that what Nord accused Reece of a is “very serious” allegation.

“There used to be a time when there was a burden of proof for these types of things in public. You actually had to provide some kind of factual information, some kind of documented behavior to even begin to accuse a professional in a professional setting of such conduct. We have none of that,” McCarthy said. “There is no proof or documentation, I’ve not been contacted by Mr. Nord, he’s not emailed me, called me provided any information to me or any member of this council since that accusation.”

Nord argued Monday night that the Town has no set a standard of ethics for city staff or elected officials and hopes to see that change.

“It is our responsibility to set a policy for the Town of Normal and our policy should define which staff, which elected officials are expected to follow any ethics, whether its the ICMA ethics, state ethics. We have to start defining what ethics means,” Nord said

After the open comments from councilmembers, the group adjourned to an executive session to discuss a personnel matter.

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