The Scottsbluff City Council Tuesday night voted unanimously to fire City Manager Dustin Rief because of a bad one-year job performance evaluation.
The council designated City Finance Director Liz Loutzenhiser and Police Chief Kevin Spencer to split the duties of interim city manager.
The termination vote came after a 75-minute closed-door executive session. Mayor Jeanne McKerrigan said that after discussing with Rief the deficiencies in his administrative work evaluation, it didn’t appear improvement would follow.
McKerrigan then moved to terminate Rief’s contract immediately and approve any severance agreement. A 5% pay raise based on the contract was approved.
Following the council vote, Rief’s wife addressed the members for about 4 minutes and accused one of them of unethical behavior.
The decision to fire Rief came as something of a surprise since he received a positive 6-month evaluation in September, although some council members said more streamlined communication down the road would be beneficial.
Rief was chosen city manager from among 3 finalists in December 2020 and started March 1st of last year. The city will begin the search for his permanent successor in the coming weeks.