Wednesday, November 15, 2000

Condit to leave solicitor position

New council may want full-timer

By Cindy Schroeder
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        COVINGTON — Two days after learning that his job was in jeopardy, Joe Condit, Covington's city solicitor for 21 years, submitted his resignation Tuesday, effective Dec. 31.

        Mr. Condit said his resignation was by mutual agreement with Mayor Jim Eggemeier and Covington city commissioners. After serving in various city jobs during the past 30 years, Mr. Condit said that he will serve as a consultant on legal matters until year's end.

        “The city will contract with the law firm of Ziegler & Schneider to assist in the transition to a new solicitor who will most likely be selected when the new mayor and City Commission take office in January,” Mr. Condit read from a press release.

        Covington City Commission accepted Mr. Condit's resignation Tuesday, after meeting behind closed doors with him for nearly an hour and a half.

        In January, City Commissioners Jerry Bamberger and J.T. Spence and Mayor-elect Butch Callery will be joined by two new commissioners — Craig Bohman and Alex Edmondson.

        “I'm glad we reached mutual agreement,” said Mr. Condit, who had sought to stay in his job through the end of the year. “I've worked for the city for 30 years, and I've enjoyed the experience.”

        Mr. Condit, who previously served as Covington's finance director and city manager, praised the city employees he'd worked with, and thanked the city officials who had supported him.

        “Who knows? Maybe at some point in the future, I'll be back,” he said.

        Mr. Condit said Mr. Callery told him in a meeting Sunday that the city commissioners planned to consider terminating his contract, and offered two or three reasons that Mr. Condit described as “not very substantive.”

        Mr. Callery would not comment Tuesday on Mr. Condit's job performance.

        He denied a rumor making its way through Covington political circles that Joe Meyer, a former state senator and Covington school board member who was active in Mr. Callery's campaign, was the commission's choice to replace Mr. Condit as city solicitor. He said the city planned to advertise for the position.

        Mr. Meyer denied he had been approached by anyone about the Covington solicitor's job, but he would not rule out the possibility of applying for it.

        “Butch Callery and I never had any arrangement,” Mr. Meyer said Tuesday. “Butch Callery is a very honorable person. If anyone is saying there's any back-room deal, they're slandering the guy.”

        In June, Mr. Meyer, a Covington lawyer in private practice, was dismissed from his job as general counsel and deputy director to the Kentucky Association of Counties without explanation.

        While Mr. Spence said he has had no problems with Mr. Condit's job performance, he also said he believes Covington needs a full-time city solicitor.

        Mr. Condit, who works about 23 hours a week as city solicitor, earns $66,225 a year, plus benefits.


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