Councilors and Citizens Call for Burlington CAO to be Put on Leave | News | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice
Pin It

Councilors and Citizens Call for Burlington CAO to be Put on Leave 

More Burlington city councilors are asking Mayor Bob Kiss to put Chief Administrative Officer Jonathan Leopold on leave while an audit is conducted of Burlington Telecom's finances.

As of today, six of the council's 14 members are calling on Kiss to place Leopold on some form of leave — either paid or unpaid — due to his role in loaning $17 million from the city's "cash pool" (i.e. checkbook) to Burlington Telecom.

That loan has accumulated over a period of almost two years, and is in violation of BT's license to do business — its certificate of public good (CPG) — issued by the Public Service Board. Any borrowed money had to be repaid within 60 days.

Leopold has claimed responsibility for making the loan happen, though he remains steadfast in his claim that state and city officials were briefed about BT finances and the use of the "cash pool" financing. However, he admits in hindsight that he should have been more forthright with the council and the board of finance about the violation.

Ed Adrian (D-Ward 1) was the first councilor to call for Leopold's removal. He sent a letter to Kiss on Tuesday before a special city council meeting called by the mayor. At that meeting, the mayor laid out a multi-step plan to clear the air around Burlington Telecom. Councilors also grilled the administration for more than two hours, trying to find out why the administration had failed to tell them, or the city's board of finance, about the violation for more than six months.

Now, five other councilors have joined Adrian's cause: Ward 7 Republicans Vince Dober and Paul Decelles, along with Democrats Nancy Kaplan (Ward 4), Mary Kehoe (Ward 6) and David Berezniak (Ward 2).

Did you appreciate this story?

Show us your ❤️ by becoming a Seven Days Super Reader.

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

Tags: ,

Pin It

More by Shay Totten

About The Author

Shay Totten

Shay Totten

Shay Totten wrote "Fair Game," a weekly political column, from April 2008-December 2011.

Comments (8)

Showing 1-8 of 8

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-8 of 8

Add a comment

Seven Days moderates comments in order to ensure a civil environment. Please treat the comments section as you would a town meeting, dinner party or classroom discussion. In other words, keep commenting classy! Read our guidelines...

Note: Comments are limited to 300 words.

Recent Comments

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative

All content © 2019 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401
Website powered by Foundation