JOPLIN, MO.--- Joplin city leaders vote not to appeal a court decision that requires them to release a full report from a recent investigation which led to the firing of former city manager, Mark Rohr. A special meeting was held tonight to decide whether or not the City of Joplin would appeal the judges decision or comply. After two hours and five minutes of deliberating, the council approved a motion not to appeal the judge's ruling. They decided in a majority vote the full investigation report will be public by close of business tomorrow.
Back in February, the Joplin Globe sued the City of Joplin, stating that under the Missouri Sunshine Law, the documents from the report should be public. Monday a Jasper County judge ruled in favor of the Globe. In a special meeting tonight, the council went into a closed session to receive legal advice from their attorneys. They then went into a public meeting, where they decided in a 6 to 3 vote to release all the information.
"It's to protect the city as a whole, and that's where I personally voted from was to protect the city as a whole, because then you open up the potential for lawsuits and different things like that by not protecting those employees," said Melodee Colbert-Kean, Joplin Mayor.
"I just think the public has such an interest in seeing what's in that report. And there were some concerns on the other side of the issue as well, but I felt like the public's right to know over-rode those concerns for me personally," said Mike Woolston, Joplin Councilman.
Last year, a private investigator was hired by city leaders to look into issues involving specific council members. Only partial finding were released to the public, and even the council has not seen 100 percent of the report. City leaders haven't said what time they will release the report tomorrow, but say it will happen before 5 o'clock. We will have all the latest information as it becomes available.
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