Indian Hills manager goes to court to stop job discussion

Embattled Indian Hills General Improvement District general manager Jim Bentley has obtained a injunction to stop three trustees from trying to fire him.

District Court Judge Michael Gibbons ordered the board to remove an agenda item from last week's meeting to discuss Bentley's job performance in a closed personnel session.

Bentley claimed that any discussion violated an agreement reached by the board and its attorney, Jeff Rahbeck, to give him until June 13 to respond to allegations that he's not doing the job for which he is paid $60,366.

The agenda item was requested by Trustee Joanne Riekenberg. Bentley's attorney argued that was an attempt by other trustees "to insulate themselves from liability for the wrongdoing of Riekenberg in forcing this item on the agenda."

Minden attorney Scott Brooke, representing Bentley, said he attended a May 3 improvement district meeting where residents gave "unanimous public testimony" in support of Bentley.

That night, trustees and their attorney agreed that the charges against Bentley were unsubstantiated. Brooke said the board agreed to withdraw the item until June 13. But Riekenberg and Trustee Renee Haskell have continued to place the item on the agenda, Brooke said.

A personal dislike or job dissatisfaction is not cause to fire Bentley, Brooke argued. Bentley's six-year contract cites several conditions under which he can be terminated and none has been met, Brooke said.


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