Cloverdale sued by ex-town manager

Monday, April 13, 2020

Suit alleges Galloway illegally fired during executive session

CLOVERDALE -- The municipal government in Cloverdale is now facing a civil complaint from one of its former employees after terminating him recently.

The most concerning issue in doing so may be that the town’s officials allegedly violated the Open Door Law and did not make the decision public.

Wayne Galloway

Last Thursday, former Town Manager Wayne Galloway filed a lawsuit with the Putnam County Circuit Court against the town for conducting such action behind closed doors.

In a special meeting held on Tuesday, March 24, the council approved ordinances relating to the COVID-19 spread. The agenda also included amending salaries at the Cloverdale Police Department.

The council then went into an executive session to discuss what was provided as malfeasance having been committed by a town employee.

Wayne Galloway was invited to stay for this session. However, he walked out of the town hall not long after it began at 7 p.m.

Clerk-Treasurer Cheryl Galloway, who is also Wayne’s wife, was advised not to stay. Town Attorney Daniel Hofmann stated in an email between himself, the council and the Galloways that her attendance would “not be necessary.”

According to the complaint, Hofmann sent a letter to Galloway at nearly midnight on Thursday, March 26 stating that his termination would take effect the next day.

The letter directed Galloway to vacate his office by 10 a.m. the following day, and to leave his keys, IT information and other property belonging to the town.

The letter also provided Galloway was given two weeks to “finalize (his) job and responsibilities” at the executive session. However, it stated that this was to be disregarded.

The clerk-treasurer claimed Mr. Galloway did not see the letter until much later, as he was tending to his duties. She also stated she was not officially made aware of the issue until Wednesday, April 8.

“They (the council) told Wayne that they wanted to go a different way,” she told the Banner Graphic Monday morning.

Section 5-14-1.5 of the Indiana Code states that, “official action of public agencies be conducted and taken openly, unless otherwise expressly provided by statute, in order that the people may be fully informed.”

Mr. Galloway hired Indianapolis attorney Mark Waterfill, who characterized the termination as flatly illegal, to handle the lawsuit.

“The town can’t take official action without a public agenda and holding a meeting in public,” he related to the Banner Graphic Monday morning, professing that the town did neither.

Waterfill stated Galloway was given an ultimatum during the executive session to either resign or be fired. The complaint reflects that Galloway said he would not resign.

While the document notes the clerk-treasurer was not invited to the session and “no one attested this decision,” the town attorney or a council member may be allowed to take attendance and minutes.

Galloway has served as the town manager since November of 2014, and was named Cloverdale’s interim building inspector in 2017.

He is seeking reinstatement in both positions, as well as back pay, benefits and compensation of attorney fees and court costs.

Hofmann told the Banner Graphic Monday afternoon that Galloway’s termination was originally to be announced during the council’s April meeting. However, other events — which he did not expand on — furthered his removal.

“The town does intend on contesting any allegation Mr. Galloway has made,” Hofmann said. “The council believes it was wholly rightful, and it’s in the best interest of the community to fight it.”

No specific reason has been given for Galloway’s termination. However, the council previously questioned why he was drawing two salaries as both the town manager and Cloverdale’s building inspector.

During its regular March meeting, the council scrutinized the clerk-treasurer’s handling of the budget, especially when it came to funding the police department.

In a memorandum shared with the Banner Graphic and directed to the council, the clerk-treasurer laid out how the budget for 2020 was set up.

She provided that Mr. Galloway and Town Marshal Steve Hibler were called in by July to give a “wish list” of funds they needed. Galloway asked for a salary should someone else take over as building inspector, while Hibler was looking to hire more officers.

Mrs. Galloway claimed that CPD had a $10,000 increase for operating funds and $3,000 for salaries. The building inspector’s bracket was increased to $40,000.

She also figured the cost of demolition downtown and a Community Crossings grant. The budget was still considered tight altogether at $590,000, and as such Galloway said she was working with the town marshal to cut it down.

Cloverdale police saw a turnover of six officers in 2019. The tax levy, which Galloway provided was $317,156, was to be used to fund the police department, with $200,000 being held as reserve.

The 2020 budget was passed last September with no changes. The council later approved a salary ordinance in November stipulating $1,000 police increases, as well as the building inspector’s $40,000 with the position being vetted.

“It seems the whole issue is the building inspector was taking money from the police,” Galloway wrote. “I have worked diligently to be fair across the board to all associates and be a good steward of taxpayers’ money.”

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  • Chapter 96 in the ongoing saga of “The Cloverdale Town Government and the Pit of Blunder”.

    -- Posted by techphcy on Mon, Apr 13, 2020, at 6:45 PM
  • 40,000 dollar Building Inspector Salary plus a Town Manager Salary sounds like Wayne had a good thing going there. I understand that Cheryl hired her own attorney at the the expense of the town taxpayers. Wonder why that is? does she have something to hide ? If she is doing something wrong why is our tax dollars paying for her attorney?

    -- Posted by JohnQTaxpayer on Mon, Apr 13, 2020, at 8:04 PM
  • *

    Thank you Cloverdale.

    Just like corona virus took away all the focus from the skyrocketing crime rate in Indianapolis, perhaps you will take away all the focus from the corona virus.

    Do any of y'all down there own tigers? :)

    -- Posted by dreadpirateroberts on Mon, Apr 13, 2020, at 11:18 PM
  • Your probably thinking of the big cat refuge in Center Point.

    -- Posted by Prince of Stardust Hills on Tue, Apr 14, 2020, at 4:10 AM
  • I'm with you on that JohnQTaxpayer. I was thinking the same thing. Plus a wife who is town clerk. Appears to have favortism towards the payroll when it came to her husband. Good thing she is an elected official or she may have been fired as well.

    -- Posted by tksutherlin11 on Tue, Apr 14, 2020, at 8:42 AM
  • Finally after, 3 yrs?, Something is being done. How much did he make in that time? I hope this is the start of Cloverdale officials clean up. Elected or not it's now time for Cheryl to go and the people to take the town back and replace the Galloway's with people that care about the people and the town instead of money hungry officials.

    -- Posted by putnamcountyproud on Tue, Apr 14, 2020, at 10:34 AM
  • Karma at it's best. However look at how this happened. Something is wrong or these officials wouldn't have turned so quickly against both Galloway's. Didnt these same council people just vote in favor of all the requests for raises? If so...maybe they should be impeached. Good luck on the roller coaster Galloway family. .I think it's going to get worse before it gets better for you two. KARMA is a you know what

    -- Posted by Keepyaguessin on Tue, Apr 14, 2020, at 10:41 AM
  • Reading all of this and then the comments is beginning to make me wonder if Cheryl was behind the case of the town water employee who apparently ripped off so many customers by changing their bill amounts and pocketing the extra money. That person has claimed her innocence from day one and has been firm that Cheryl was behind it. Hmmm...

    -- Posted by momof2ingreencastle on Wed, Apr 15, 2020, at 9:25 AM
  • momof2ingreencastle That was always my belief, so sorry to say. I've worked in bank branches and have seen first hand how easy it is to manipulate cash and accuse an innocent co-worker. Eliminating that employee ensured the ease of keeping the Clerk's son's girlfriend on the payroll at the time.

    It's possible.

    -- Posted by letspulltogether on Wed, Apr 15, 2020, at 11:47 AM
  • Not sure the above is correct information. The clerks sons girlfriend left prior to the the utility clerk that was accused of stealing. She left because she felt there was something shady going on in the office. From my understanding she never believed the utility clerk was guilty either - and stated so openly to many people. It is also pretty well known that one of the clerk treaurers sons doesn’t have a relationship with her at all. One can guess that it may be due to the shady business his girlfriend was put through.

    -- Posted by cloverpride on Thu, Apr 16, 2020, at 6:33 PM
  • They need to investigate the chief of police next just saying.

    -- Posted by your mom on Tue, Apr 21, 2020, at 9:15 AM
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