Sioux City manager formally announces his resignation - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Sioux City manager Paul Eckert formally announces his resignation

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"With a heavy heart and mixed emotions we are announcing that our family is relocating back to California," Sioux City City Manager Paul Eckert announced that after 16 years serving Sioux City, he's resigning for the same job in a different state.

The announcement comes two days after the city of Mount Shasta, California voted to hire Eckert as their City Manager.           

His resignation comes on the tails of a sexual harassment suit filed against him earlier this month.

The announcement in front of a large crowd, came during a the weekly city manager's press conference, held at a local hospital.

"A community is just that, it's all the people in it.  What's touched our hearts is how wonderful upper Midwesterners are," Eckert said.

City Manager Paul Eckert was at times emotional.

"Our children have thrived here, and we're very touched," he said, his voice cracking and tears welling in his eyes.

Eckert is taking a $50,000 pay cut to work in the town of 3,500 with a significantly higher cost of living.

"It's a beautiful community.  It's one that we've said we'd retire in, or if we ever won the lotto that we might move to," Eckert recalled.

The move means his two sons will start the next school year in a new high school.  Eckert shot down the notion that he's running away from the sexual harassment lawsuit that was filed against him and the city of Sioux City on July 9th.

"It's not related.  It's a family decision.  Both of our parents are aging.  We're looking forward to taking care of our mothers more personally," Eckert said.

In the crowd, Eckert's wife and eldest daughter.  Eckert admitted the lawsuit was brought up during his interview with the city of Mt. Shasta.

"Fully aware.  They talked to over 16 people in this community as a result," said of Mt. Shasta City Council Members.

One of those people was Sioux City mayor Bob Scott.

"About two weeks ago he told me he was a candidate in this community and asked if I would be willing to visit with their mayor.  I visited with their mayor a week ago," Scott told KTIV Tuesday.

Does he think the controversy will follow you to Mt. Shasta?

"Anytime anyone goes anywhere there's always reservations about the new person," he answered.

Eckert says it's the friendships he'll miss the most.

"We'll miss Sioux City.  We feel like we've accomplished a lot," Eckert shared.

Sioux City Mayor Bob Scott announced Wednesday afternoon that Assistant City Manager Bob Padmore will serve as interim city manager.

Paul Eckert's last day is August 19th.

That suit was filed by administrative assistant Brittany Scott against both Eckert and the city of Sioux City.

In it, she alleges Eckert sent her sexually suggestive e-mails, commented on her physical appearance, and tried to start an affair. 

She said once she complained about the unwelcome advances to members of the city council, she was demoted by Eckert and transferred out of City Hall to a different city department, and eventually her hours were cut to part-time.

The lawsuit also includes a deposition from Eckert's former assistant, who alleges Scott was not the only one to experience his advances, and that in fact she herself was subjected to a hostile work environment created by Eckert.

 

Raw press conference

 

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