Theiss said Adkins entered the coffee shop, approached her at the register as he was getting his coffee and asked, “How long has this been going on?” She was one of 14 who raised concerns and wanted action to resolve the issue.
She said Adkins “proceeded to state very animatedly that he knew nothing about this problem until he read the post (police) Chief (Rodney Muterspaw) made on the subject last week.” Adkins also told her that he was told Vitori and the downtown business owners were “taking care of it.” He said he had no idea there were any problems going on.
Muterspaw, whose last day as police chief was Friday, wrote a social media post on Sept. 24 about the homelessness issue in the city. At the time of the post, Adkins was on vacation.
“His demeanor was obviously angry and very uncharacteristic,” Theiss wrote. “I have interacted with Doug literally hundreds of times in Triple Moon and this was absolutely unlike anything (I) have ever seen from him.”
The incident has also been posted to social media and has created controversy.
Contacted on Thursday by the Journal-News, Adkins responded:
“As far as Triple Moon, I asked how long this problem had been going on. The answer I got was that it had been a serious ongoing, serious, almost daily problem for about (eight) months. I was stunned. I was angry and told the three people in the business at that time that they were right to be upset, I understood now why so many people were so passionate about the problem, it made much more sense now, and how angry I was that my staff had not passed along timely information in months.
“Their comment was that they thought I knew and just didn’t care. I was upset and was louder than I probably should have been, but I was disparaging my staff and not anyone at Triple Moon.”
Through city spokeswoman Shelby Quinlivan on Friday afternoon, Adkins declined to comment further on the matter, saying that “it would be inappropriate due to the special council meeting scheduled for Monday.”
In her email to council members, Theiss wrote Adkins “loudly and angrily” spoke in front of “multiple customers.”
Theiss wrote that Adkins said: “I can’t (expletive) fix the problems if nobody (expletive) tells about them!” And, “I could have fixed this in two weeks, if somebody had (expletive) told me!”
“Doug seemed to be, in my opinion, coming completely unhinged, his behavior incredibly inappropriate and unprofessional, and I base that opinion on the substantial amount of interaction I have had with … him in Triple Moon over the last three years,” she wrote. “He said several times, ‘I’m not mad at you! I just don’t understand what (sic) nobody (expletive) told me about this!’ He proceeded to repeatedly deny that he had any knowledge of these problems prior to the current time, to curse and exclaim that he could have fixed it had he known before now.”
MORE: Downtown Middletown business owners upset with city on homeless issue
Theiss said several customers witnessed this display, and some of them left the coffee shop as a result.
“It was incredibly uncomfortable and embarrassing to be subjected to what felt like an ambush, publicly, by one of our city’s leaders,” Theiss wrote. “I was initially reluctant to bring this to your attention, as I have no interest in being embroiled in any conflict or drama, but I feel strongly that this behavior was appalling and wholly unbecoming of a city manager, and needs to be promptly addressed.”
Adkins has been Middletown’s city manager since June 2014. He was appointed as assistant city prosecutor in September 2014. He later became city prosecutor and later community revitalization director. Adkins had also served as a council member and vice mayor in Vandalia.