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  • Last modified 68 days ago (June 7, 2018)

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City clerk fired after two months

Staff writer

Peabody city clerk Destinie Dyer was fired, effective immediately, at a special meeting Tuesday of the Peabody City Council.

Council members declined to comment on reasons for the firing, which came after a series of closed-door sessions with department heads.

Dyer had been hired just two months earlier.

Shortly after Dyer was fired, the council voted to hire Paul Martin Grill II to replace her at an annual salary of $40,000.

His projected start date is June 20.

Treasurer Liz Harder will temporarily assume some of the clerk’s duties for the next couple of weeks, council member Jay Gfeller said, and outside resources will be employed to handle other tasks.

The unexpected position shuffle was the culmination of an emergency city council meeting called to evaluate employee performance. Council member Beth Peter and Mayor Larry Larsen were not present at the meeting.

Before firing Dyer and hiring Grill, council members met individually with department heads in separate, 20-minute executive sessions.

A 30-minute closed-door session with Dyer followed, then a 45-minute session including only council members before Dyer was terminated.

The city has had trouble filling the position since the end of 2016, when Stephanie Ax retired. Ax was treasurer for most of her long career with the city. She served as clerk for two years, as well as serving as interim clerk twice, adding another 1½ years of service in the position.

Barb Seeney filled the clerk’s position after a month of in-house training in January 2017. She remained clerk until she left for a different job at the end of August.

Upon Seeney leaving, Jonna Munson, who had been serving as treasurer, moved into the clerk’s position, leaving the treasurer’s position vacant. Liz Harder was hired to fill that vacancy at the end of September.

The two women were in the middle of a transition in which Harder would resign from her treasurer position and Munson would take it when the city hired Dyer to step into clerk position.

Dyer was employed by the city for only a bit more than a week when Munson left for lunch April 24 and didn’t return.

Munson sent notice of resignation via text message that afternoon to Mayor Larry Larsen, and submitted a written resignation, found the next day, in a drop box at city hall.

Messages requesting comment after her resignation were not returned, but Larsen cited personal reasons unknown to the city for her abrupt resignation.

After Munson’s resignation, Harder rescinded her resignation and has remained in the treasurer’s job.

Last modified June 7, 2018

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