05-18 Cloer mug

Palestine City Manager Leslie Cloer

The Palestine City Council has terminated City Manager Leslie Cloer.

In an official statement from the city, Mayor Steve Presley said the council, because of Cloer’s actions, had lost confidence in her and she should be placed on administrative leave until her termination is finalized.

Cloer was terminated in a special called meeting at 11 a.m. Friday, Aug. 28.

The city council immediately went into closed session to discuss the employment, evaluation, reassignment, duties, discipline or dismissal of the city manager.

After a closed session 16 citizens presented their opinions during public comments section of the council meeting.

All comments were in favor of the city manager.

City employee Patsy Smith, in a letter to the council, portrayed Cloer as a great person and questioned the council's motives in questioning her job performance.

Terri Johnson, with the Palestine Economic Development Corporation, wrote a letter supporting Cloer and asking that the council not take action against the city manager.

Other city employees spoke on her behalf, including Felipe Garcia and Mark Lee.

The council then went back into closed session for a couple of hours and returned with its decision.

When the council returned to open session, it agreed to grant her paid leave, but terminated Cloer.

The vote to terminate was 4-2, with Mitchell Jordan and Mayor Steve Presley voting against the motion to terminate. Councilman Joe Baxter was not present for the meeting. 

 City Secretary Teresa Herrera was named interim city manager.

With a background in human resources, management, and finance, Cloer, who became interim city manager when Michael Hornes resigned in May 2019, was made City Manager in September 2019 in a 5-2 vote. District 2 Councilman Mitchell Jordan, and District 3 Council member Vickey Chivers voted against hiring Cloer, arguing the council should have searched for, and interviewed, other candidates before making a decision.

Cloer, working four 10-hour-days was receiving $145,000 salary and never resided in the city of Palestine. She will received a severe package equal to six months salary.

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