Council members fire city administrator amidst scandal

Published 06/12 2012 10:23PM

Updated 06/14 2012 12:13PM

MATTOON -- City leaders have fired the city's administrator. Council members voted to let Sue McLaughlin go. The motion to fire her came a few weeks after she was accused of insider politics.

It took the council almost three hours behind closed doors to decide her fate. The city attorney says McLaughlin was fired without cause; therefore she will get a severance package. This all started several weeks ago when she attempted to sell lakefront property at Lake Mattoon.

City attorney Preston Owen says the buyer was her fiance and the asking price was $41,000.

That price upset several people including Owen who claimed that the land is worth anywhere from 5-10 times the $41,000 price tag. It ultimately led to Owen resigning from his position with the city. We spoke with one man who says firing her is the only way to clean up Mattoon's reputation.

"They're making us out as the laughing stock of the state and I resent that. It's not right," said Jerry Groniger, Coles County Republican Central Committee Vice Chairman.

He says he attended a republican convention in northern Illinois last week. He says when he mentioned he was from Mattoon the first thing people brought up was the scandal surrounding the lakefront land sale.

McLaughlin's firing is effective immediately. No word yet what her severance package will include or how her position will be filled. The lakefront land in question is no longer for sale.

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