Cedar Hills city recorder says she was forced out

Published: Thursday, May 3 2012 7:47 p.m. MDT

CEDAR HILLS — One of three city officials here who resigned from their posts Tuesday said she was forced out of her job.

In a prepared statement, former city recorder Kim Holindrake said, "On Tuesday, May 1, 2012, I was asked to resign my position as city recorder. There was no cause to release me; it was political. I have offered my assistance to the city staff in completing any projects and to answer any questions relative to the duties of the city recorder."

Holindrake would not elaborate on the statement, which also stated that she served city residents professionally and ethically for 21 years and wishes the best for city leadership. City Manger Konrad Hildrebrandt and City Building and Zoning Officer Bradley Kearl, the other two employees who resigned, did not respond to requests Thursday for comment on their departure.

Tuesdays resignations energized a coalition of residents who are seeking to oust Cedar Hills mayor Eric Richardson over the management of city finances. Members of Cedar Hills Citizens for Responsible Government have been working for the removal of Richardson and Hildebrandt, but coalition member Ken Cromar on Tuesday called the other two resignations "baffling."

"The city recorder was one of the greatest assets to the city," Cromar said.

Residents Paul Sorensen and Ken Severn filed 46 pages of allegations and supporting documents in 4th District Court in January. They claim Richardson and Hildebrandt improperly moved $371,726 from city recreation funds to the city's golf course to make it appear profitable, unlawfully gave Hildebrandt a pay increase and obscured or withheld information given to the public.

In a prepared statement released Tuesday, Hildebrandt said he hoped his resignation would put an end to the distractions and rising legal costs and allow city leaders to focus on their work.

Adding to the controversy, Richardson was named in a federal complaint filed Wednesday that accuses him and a partner of soliciting more than $2 million in investments through an unregistered equity firm. 

A statement issued by City Councilwoman Jenney Rees, on behalf of the City Council, stated that the timing of the resignations was coincidental and in no way related to the complaint filed against the mayor.

"At this point the City Council is unaware of the details surrounding the federal complaint but will continue to operate under the assumption that Mayor Richardson is innocent until proven guilty," the statement says.

"However, to assure both the council and the residents of Cedar Hills that nothing inappropriate or fraudulent has occurred, the City Council has requested an internal and external forensic audit on the city’s financials to cover January 2010 to present."

Benjamin Wood, Steve Fidel

Twitter: SteveFidel

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