An outburst at a downtown business last week has resulted in a one-day suspension for Middletown’s city manager.
Middletown City Council met in executive session for four hours Monday night during a special meeting called by Vice Mayor Talbott Moon and Councilwoman Ami Vitori to discuss City Manager Doug Adkins’ outburst last week at the Triple Moon Coffee Company.
Mayor Larry Mulligan Jr. and the rest of council declined to comment after last night’s lengthy executive session in which police chief Rodney Muterspaw was asked to attend. Adkins was attending an economic development conference in Columbus.
City officials said a public statement would be released on Tuesday on the results from that meeting. The city released a statement late Tuesday afternoon that read, in part: “After due consideration and evaluation, Council has issued a one-day suspension and requested a public apology from the City Manager.
“Council does not condone the actions of the City Manager on Oct. 2, 2019. However, they appreciate his hard work for the city and look forward to working together to continue advancing Middletown’s success.”
Adkins will make a public apology at the Oct. 15 council meeting and will serve his suspension on Oct. 24, according to city spokeswoman Shelby Quinlivan.
A manager of a downtown business sent an email to council members about Adkins’ behavior on Oct. 2 at the coffee shop. Renae Theiss was one of 14 residents and downtown business people who spoke at the heavily attended council meeting the night prior to raise concerns about what has been called a growing homeless issues downtown and nearby neighborhoods.
As he was getting his coffee on Oct. 2, Adkins asked “How long has this been going on?” 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 that 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.
Adkins was contacted on Oct. 3 by the Journal-News and he said he was asked how long the homeless problem had been an issue, and “was stunned” when he was told it was for about eight months.
“I was angry and told the three people in the business at that time that they were right to be upset,” Adkins said.
Adkins said his staff had not passed along the complaints in a timely manner and told the Journal-News. “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.”
Thank you for reading the Journal-News and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.
Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Journal-News. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.