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Council to discuss Ihler's contract

City Council members will look at City Manager Jerry Ihler's contract Tuesday, this time in executive session.

The proposal on Tuesday's council agenda is a continuation of a discussion that deteriorated into an argument at the council's Feb. 27 meeting, when what started as a routine item on the consent agenda to approve the settlement of a bond-related issue before the Securities and Exchange Commission segued into a motion to fire Ihler and later led to Mayor Fred Fitch to direct police to escort a council member from the auditorium.

Ward 5 Councilman Dwight Tanner, who has since admitted he should not have lost his temper, wasn't removed by city police; he agreed that night to leave the meeting on his own. And the council didn't act on a motion to fire Ihler, instead confining its action to approving a settlement agreement that reimbursed the city for three-quarters of the cost of defending itself before the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Neither Ihler's contract nor action to terminate his employment was listed on the Feb. 27 agenda, and the city attorney's office said later that week the council could not have taken action on the motion from Tanner to terminate Ihler due to lack of confidence.

The agenda for Tuesday's regular council meeting has that action, an agenda item asking the council to convene in executive session to review Ihler's employment as city manager and, in open session, take action as necessary.

The Lawton Constitution

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