At her annual evaluation on Tuesday (4-19-16), City Attorney Robin Schmid was asked by the Assembly to resign. Her resignation is effective June 1st with a 90 day severance package.
The group met for nearly three hours in executive session, the last hour with Schmid, before announcing their decision.
Both the administrator and the attorney are “at-will employees,” serving at the pleasure of the Assembly. Their contracts state they can be “suspended or discharged without advance notice and without cause at any time during a lawfully scheduled meeting by a vote of at least four members of the Assembly.”
In a statement released Wednesday (4-20-16), Mayor Mim McConnell said “We thank Robin for her service to our community and wish her the best of success as she moves forward with her career.”
KCAW called every Assembly member individually and none would disclose their reasons for dismissing Schmid. Half confirmed that it was not because of a particular legal case, but a matter of professional style. Several said, “It was time for a change.”
Speaking with KCAW yesterday (4-25-16), Schmid said, “I’m happy to continue to serve the community as long as they’ll have me. I came here expecting to make Sitka my home and want to stay here.”
Schmid requested her evaluation take place in executive session this year, in the event the Assembly wanted to discuss legal matters pertaining to the city.
Schmid was appointed Sitka’s municipal attorney in February of 2013 and has been on the job since April of that year, replacing Theresa Hillhouse. She was hired from a private practice in Wasilla, with 20 years of experience under her belt.
Last year, the Assembly gave Schmid a positive evaluation and she did not ask for an increase in salary, which is $123,240 a year.
The Assembly will receive direction for recruiting a new municipal attorney at tonight’s (4-26-16) meeting.