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City Manager recommended Civic Center director’s removal after investigation, letter states

Civic Center gets good deal on slightly used WNBA basketball floor

The Columbus Civic Center unveiled Monday afternoon its new basketball court. They recently purchased a slightly used “All Star Plus” basketball floor from Robbins Sports Surfaces in Cincinnati, OH. They hope it will help attract additional business.
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The Columbus Civic Center unveiled Monday afternoon its new basketball court. They recently purchased a slightly used “All Star Plus” basketball floor from Robbins Sports Surfaces in Cincinnati, OH. They hope it will help attract additional business.

The Columbus Council voted Tuesday afternoon to allow City Manager Isaiah Hugley to remove Jon Dorman from his position as the director of the Columbus Civic Center.

Hugley told Dorman, in a letter provided exclusively to the Ledger-Enquirer, that he would be recommending Dorman’s removal after a recent investigation revealed that Dorman has “not faithfully or impartially fulfilled the duties” of his office.

The letter was hand-delivered to Dorman on May 13.

“It is apparent that you have facilitated and authorized dual employment of a key manager of the Columbus Civic Center against my explicit instructions,” Hugley wrote in the letter. “Further, you have not been forthright in your communications to me, as the evidence indicates you have approved the submission of sick leave records that were known to be inaccurate.”

Hugley also wrote that Dorman’s actions were “contrary to the ordinances governing the administration of CCG leave benefits, the policies governing (his) position and may also have criminal implications.”

Hugley also wrote he would accept Dorman’s resignation in lieu of removal, an offer Dorman apparently did not take.

Council voted unanimously following an executive session to allow Hugley to remove Dorman from his position of two years and four months.

Attempts to reach Dorman Tuesday afternoon were unsuccessful.

Dorman was appointed to the position by the city manager after a unanimous vote of council Jan. 24, 2017. Starting with an annual salary $90,233, he replaced former director Ross Horner.

According to Ledger-Enquirer archives, prior to this position Dorman served as general manager of the Rabobank Arena, Theater and Convention Center in Bakersfield, Calif., which is home to an ECHL hockey team and college basketball team.

He also previously worked as assistant director of the Norfolk, Va., Department of Cultural Facilities, Arts and Entertainment.

Most recently he told council he had been working hard to bring hockey back to the civic center since the Columbus Cottonmouths announced their departure at the end of the 2017 season. In April, he oversaw the signing of a five-year agreement to bring a yet-to-be-named Federal Hockey League team to the civic center for the 2019-2020 season.

When Hugley went before council in 2017 to recommend Dorman for the position, he described Dorman as ”a certified facility executive” and “a credentialed manager for the International Association of Venue Managers.”

Hugley said Dorman came highly recommended by a selection committee that consisted of former Civic Center Director Ross Horner; Deputy City Managers Pam Hodge and Lisa Goodwin; and Financial Director Angelica Alexander and Human Resources Director Reather Hollowell.

“I believe Jon will be a good fit for the Columbus Civic Center,” Hugley said.

The civic center is located at 400 4th Street and is home to over 300 event days each year, according to its website.

City documents show that for 2019 the center had an overall budget of $5.3 million and 23 positions allocated.

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