Brookings fires City Manager

BROOKINGS, Ore. – The City of Brookings is now looking for a new City Manager.

The City of Brookings has officially terminated City Manager Janell Howard’s employment. Howard has been the focus of much debate at council meetings for months after she pleaded no contest to a violation for theft.

During Tuesday night’s city council meeting, the motion was brought forth to terminate Howard’s employment without cause. The City Council voted unanimously to terminate Howard.

Howard was initially charged with a misdemeanor for theft back in 2022, but the charge was later reduced by the Curry County DA before Howard pleaded no contest, which carries the same legal weight as a guilty plea without admitting guilt.

The Brookings’ Fred Meyer store documented Howard’s alleged illegal activities at the store before police were finally called.

The leader of the city’s administration facing charges in the small coastal town, led to backlash from some vocal members of the public at council meetings. One city police officer even resigned from his job in protest.

Now despite the public uproar, city officials largely lauded Howard’s work on the job, but in the end, it wasn’t enough to keep her on.

City Council member Phoebe Pereda said, “I also just want to say that none of these decisions have been taken lightly. They have been weighed cautiously and carefully and we hope that our city can move forward in a positive direction from here.”

The City Council appointed Brookings Police Chief Kelby McCrae as Acting City Manager, given that the chief is already familiar with the city’s departments.

In November, Brookings residents voted to recall the mayor and two city councilors, mostly due to their support for Howard.

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