Albert Lea’s City Manager, Jim Norman, was placed on paid administrative leave by the City Council Thursday, after charges were filed accusing him of using the city credit card for $2,300 in personal purchases.
Norman told the council it was a misunderstanding, but criminal charges have been filed in the case by the Waseca County attorney’s office, said the Albert Lea Tribune.
Norman started his job with the city in May and was being paid a $95,000 salary. Before that, he’d been interim city manager in Afton.
Norman gave this statement to the council:
“Throughout my career I have always been honest, open and forthcoming in every respect. My actions have been professional and held to the standards expected of a city manager.
Not to belabor the obvious, I had an agreement with the city to cover expenses in my move and relocation, and I used the city credit card for those expenses. While I may have been mistaken on my understanding of the agreement and process followed in using the credit card, there was no intent to violate policy or deceive the city. When it was brought to my attention that expenses were not submitted properly, I made an immediate reimbursement before the city made a payment on my behalf.
“I would respectfully request the City Council allow me to serve as the city manager until I have the opportunity to have the charges made against me removed or dismissed. It is my intent to restore my credibility with the City Council and the community. I am a professional manager that holds the principles of my profession in the highest regard.
“It is my hope to reconfirm the decision to hire me as city manager.”