Cammie Currie retains job with city of Columbus, takes demotion

The Columbus city manager’s office has backed off its attempt to fire assistant Parks and Recreation Director Cammy Currie.

Instead, Currie, 50, has been demoted and her pay reduced.

Deputy City Manager Lisa Goodwin told Currie two weeks ago that she would be terminated. Currie was given five days to show why she should not be fired.

After two meetings with Goodwin, Currie has taken a demotion to division director, according to Human Resources Director Tom Barron. She has also taken a pay cut of more than $6,200, dropping her annual salary to $60,162.

She has been temporarily assigned to the Civic Center, where she will continue to report to Goodwin.

“She will be working on the ice rink project through the opening of the facility,” Barron said. “She may be moved back to regular Parks and Recreation or given another assignment.”

Neither City Manager Isaiah Hugley nor Goodwin could be reached for comment.

Currie declined to comment: “I would have to go through the city manager’s office before I have any comment,” she said Tuesday morning.

Mayor Jim Wetherington said he was not involved in the personnel action. “That was all done by Lisa and Isaiah,” he said. “The city manager’s office has not discussed Cammy Currie with me.”

It’s not uncommon for a city worker told of pending termination to resolve the issue and retain employment, Barron said. “It is not an unusual outcome,” he said. “I would say that 1-in-10 five-day letters end up in the employee being reinstated.”

The city attorney’s office told the city manager that because of a potential conflict, it could not represent him in firing Curry, and advised Hugley to seek outside counsel. Hugley consulted Carter Schondelmayer, a labor and employment law specialist with Hatcher, Stubbs, Land, Hollis & Rothschild, LLP.

Currie was suspended without pay on Oct. 13. That suspension was lifted Monday after eight days without pay, Barron said.

Currie is the second high-level Parks and Recreation employee to be removed from a key management position in the last month. Parks and Recreation Director Tony Adams was fired last month for lying to Hugley about contracts Adams signed for Nike sponsorship of a city-sponsored youth basketball team.