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Ottawa County fires top administrator John Gibbs

John Gibbs campaign

Less than a week after board chair Joe Moss made public a letter accusing Ottawa County Administrator John Gibbs of fostering an abusive and hostile work environment, the Ottawa County Board of Commissioners voted 10-1 to fire Gibbs.

Moss called the vote at Thursday's board meeting, moving to "terminate Mr. Gibbs' contract for cause, because the board has determined that Mr. Gibbs, in connection with the performance of his duties under the employment agreement, has been dishonest, committed gross conduct, and/or committed willful malfeasance."

Gibbs, a former official in the Trump administration and unsuccessful Republican candidate for Congress, was hired last January at the first public meeting of the board under a newly elected majority of far-right commissioners.

But tensions grew between Gibbs and the commission, spilling over in the letter accusing him of threatening to kill the county's attorney, directing employees to bug his office, and disparaging employees for their Protestant faith.

Gibbs' attorney has disputed those allegations, saying they're retaliatory and part of "personal vendettas" by board members.

Gibbs had been on paid administrative leave since February 22. He was not present at Thursday's meeting.

Brett joined Michigan Public in December 2021 as an editor.
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