Embattled Watauga city manager resigns

Posted Wednesday, Feb. 06, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Watauga City Manager Scott Neils, who was suspended on Jan. 21, has resigned effective immediately, officials said Wednesday.

Neils submitted his resignation on Tuesday, the day that the City Council had called a special meeting and public hearing to discuss firing him.

Fire chief Bill Crawford will be acting city manager, city spokeswoman Marcia Reyna said.

The terms of a settlement agreement are confidential, Neils' attorney Mark Haney said.

Mark Daniel, an attorney representing Watauga, also declined to comment on the agreement.

Resigning was the best decision under the circumstances, Haney said.

"The handwriting was on the wall," he said. "There was a certain element on the council that didn't like Scott."

Reyna said the council will not hire an outside firm to search for a new city manager.

After more than 25 years in the private sector, Neils was hired as the city's finance director in May 2008 and was promoted to city manager in August 2011.

His critics on the council tried to fire him in November, but the vote failed, 4-3. In an email to other council members, Councilman Russell Clements listed 15 complaints against Neils. At the meeting, Clements said, "One of the things that seems to characterize Dr. Neils' service is his take-charge attitude to get things done and not bother getting input from City Council."

Elizabeth Campbell, 817-390-7696

Twitter: @fwstliz

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