Open-meeting law violation alleged by ex-Lyon County manager

Donna Kristaponis isn't retreating quietly.

The former Lyon County manager filed a complaint with the state attorney general's office, alleging that commissioners who dismissed her violated the state's open meeting law.

Kristaponis said evidence of violations includes the allegation that Commissioner Bob Milz, in a statement to the Appeal, knew in advance who would replace Kristaponis.

In an article published Feb. 13, two days before the hearing on firing Kristaponis, Milz said he knew who might be the interim manager but declined to name anyone, saying that person wouldn't like him to do so.

"I will tell you that we couldn't get a better one," he said at the time.

Kristaponis believes that statement is evidence of improper meetings among commissioners.

"They were totally prepared to replace me," she said. "That says it all right there."

Commissioners voted 3-2 on Feb. 15 to fire Kristaponis, then immediately voted to hire Bob Hadfield as interim county manager.

County Commissioners Phyllis Hunewill, Milz and Don Tibbals voted to oust Kristaponis while Larry McPherson and LeRoy Goodman were opposed.

The vote to hire Hadfield was also 3-2, with McPherson and Goodman opposed.

At the time of her dismissal, Milz accused Kristaponis of not spending enough time in Yerington and of failing to inform the commissioners of her activities.

Kristaponis also said she is considering running for a Lyon County commissioner seat in the future.

"I've had people ask me if I would do that, and I've told people I'm seriously thinking about it," she said.

Though she was not affiliated with a political party during her tenure as county manager, Kristaponis said she has since registered as a Republican.

Lyon County Commission Chairman Phyllis Hunewill declined comment.

Hadfield, interim county manager, confirmed that a request was made by the state for information about the Feb. 15 meeting and that the county has provided all appropriate information.

• Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at or 882-2111 ext. 351.


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