City Council investigates city manager

Published 5:03 pm Tuesday, August 10, 2010

New Albert Lea City Manager Jim Norman is the subject of a pending investigation into alleged misconduct, Albert Lea Human Resources Director Mike Zelenak confirmed Tuesday.

Jim Norman

The Albert Lea City Council briefly reviewed the allegations during a special meeting Monday. The nature of the allegations is concerning the use of the city credit card during Norman’s relocation to Albert Lea.

Norman said he had an employment agreement that allowed for expenses for travel and relocation but said he and the council members have been advised not to comment otherwise.

Email newsletter signup

The 5 p.m. Monday meeting was originally scheduled to be closed, but Norman said he opened it because he believes in transparency.

During the meeting, the council hired Frank Madden with Frank Madden & Associates out of Plymouth to oversee the case.

“We are awaiting the completion of pending investigation before any further action, if any, can be taken,” Madden said.

He noted the state auditor’s office is involved with the inquiry.

Madden said the investigation does not imply guilt or innocence and that people should wait to draw any conclusions until the investigation is complete.

Norman began part time as city manager April 12, when he began splitting his time between Albert Lea and Afton, where he was formerly the interim city administrator.

He began full time in Albert Lea May 3.

He has previously worked as the part owner of Norman & Associates in Ramsey, city administrator in Ramsey, city manager in Montevideo, city administrator in Renville, county coordinator in Dodge County and assistant city manager in White Bear Lake.

He has been a city manager for over 16 years and worked in the public sector for 22 years.