The Fresno City Council on Thursday unanimously passed a recommendation to remove the mayor.
Voting took place in a special meeting in a closed session late at night. The council voted to appoint Ruthie Quinto as interim administrator and begin an audit of the finance department within 60 days.
There was no explanation for the layoffs, as city officials typically do not comment on personnel matters.
Mayor Michael Lima oversees the Finance Department and oversees accounting, financial management and reporting, budgeting, internal audit, treasury/cash management, investments, payroll, billing and receivables, accounts payable, purchasing, reproduction and graphics, and business. Manage licenses and cash registers.
According to the city’s website, “Overall responsibility for the city’s financial management rests with the Finance Director/Controller, who also serves as the City’s Treasurer.”
The deal comes months after The Bee reported that the city lost $600,000 to a phishing scam. The fraud occurred in 2020, but city officials didn’t disclose it until Bee asked about it, citing an ongoing FBI investigation. It has not been clarified whether this was the reason for Lima’s dismissal.
My employment contract with the city of Lima was renewed in July. His annual base salary is $189,500. He’s been working in the city of Fresno for nearly 30 years.
The City Manager has authority over the employment of City Managers, but agreements require the approval of the City Council.
Under his employment contract, Lima is entitled to six months’ wages as severance pay.