Disclaimer: The comments in this blog are my personal opinion and may or may not reflect an adopted position of the city of Glendale and its city council.

It’s always interesting to follow former high profile Glendale employees. This time it is former Glendale City Attorney Craig Tindall who made the news in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. In 2015 the Murfreesboro City Council hired Mr. Tindall as their City Attorney. This was after a several years’ stint as the City Attorney for Glendale as well as one of the Arizona Coyotes’ attorneys.

The problem this time seems to be a possible violation of the state’s Open Meeting law with regard to notice (not given to the public) on the topics to be discussed during 4 city council executive sessions during  which their then City Attorney, Mr. Tindall, was present and offered his opinion regarding, among other things, City Manager Rob Lyons prior to his ultimate resignation.

A little back history is in order. I was not on city council during the course of events. I was not on council from December of 2012 until December of 2016, at which time I resumed my council position.  I am relying on contemporary media reports.  During the summer of 2013 the city council asked Tindall to resign and he did so in return for which he was granted a six-month severance package. During that six month time period he continued to serve on the city pay roll since it was felt that he had expertise with regard to many ongoing issues including the negotiations about the Coyotes’ contract and the new ownership of Anthony LeBlanc, et. al.  However, after his resignation while still on the city pay roll, he also accepted a job as one of the Arizona Coyotes’ attorneys. Why he felt he could work for both while the Coyotes contract was still under negotiation is something Tindall has never adequately explained publicly.

An ethics complaint was filed in November of 2013 by a former city councilmember (not me). In that complaint it was alleged that Tindall had a conflict of interest as he remained on the city’s pay roll as a consultant while also working for the Coyotes.

The city hired a private attorney who filed a lawsuit contending that Tindall had a significant and perhaps detrimental involvement to the city in negotiating and writing the arena management contract considered by many observers to be more favorable to the Coyotes than it should have been. Tindall’s codefendant in the law suit was Julie Frisoni, who had been appointed an assistant city manager by the now infamous former City Manager, Brenda Fischer. In 2015 the city terminated the Coyotes arena management agreement that Tindall, in part, had negotiated. Apparently it was believed that both Tindall and Frisoni had tipped the scales in favor of the Coyotes.

A complaint was also filed with the Arizona Bar Association but was eventually dismissed. That should come as no surprise as the odds of being sanctioned by the state bar are slim to none unless one is an axe murderer.

Tindall characterized the entire episode by labeling the former councilmember who had filed the ethics complaint as “perpetually dissenting.” Well, that’s what one does when one wants to denigrate the accuser. Simply label the complainant as a kook or nut or whatever.

Enough history. It appears from a recent Murfreesboro newspaper article  that there is some question as to the circumstances of Tindall’s hiring as their new city manager (here is the link: https://www.dnj.com/story/news/2018/05/24/murfreesboro-city-attorney-craig-tindall-ethics-complaint-dismissed-glendale-arizona-coyotes-hockey/637205002/ ). The Murfreesboro city council was no longer satisfied with their current City Manager, Rob Lyons and so he resigned on December 15, 2018. Before the city council began its search for a new city manager, it met “four times in private with Tindall without giving what two experts say is required adequate public notice to discuss Lyons’ future before Lyons agreed to resign.”

“In January, the council spent $28,000 to hire a consulting firm to conduct a nationwide search that drew 35 applicants, but Tindall wasn’t one of them. The elected officials cut the list down to 11 on May 1. During its May 17 meeting, the City Council voted to offer the city manager’s job to Tindall.” 

So the guy the city council hired as their city manager despite a search for the position while not being on the list of the final 11 applicants, appears to have been the guy who gave the council advice about the entire situation. Hmmm…anything fishy about that? Nah.

© Joyce Clark, 2018         


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