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City officials will not negotiate settlement with fired legislative assistant Culpepper

Published: January 21, 2014, 6:43 pm, by Monica Mendoza

The city was in many discussions with fired City Council Legislative Assistant George Culpepper but there never was a formal offer, the city’s Chief of Staff Laura Neumann said Tuesday morning.

Mayor Steve Bach said the Culpepper issue “is a confidential personnel matter.”

“There is no agreement with Mr. Culpepper, nor will there be,” Bach said Tuesdayduring his monthly press conference.

Last week it appeared that Colorado Springs city officials were in discussions with Culpepper about the aftermath of his firing. Culpepper was hired Dec. 18 by the City Council to assist with policy research and fired Jan. 9 by Bach after Culpepper phoned Alaska Airlines to ask its stance or recreational marijuana.

In a Jan. 9 termination letter sent from the city’s Human Resources Director Michael Sullivan, Culpepper was told his “improper act in contacting Alaska Airlines directly about Colorado Springs Airport’s position on recreational marijuana was so egregious and so seriously damaging to the airport’s relationship with Alaska Airlines and other potential airlines serving the community that termination is warranted.”

Culpepper’s attorney Bob Gardner, a Colorado state representative, declined to comment at this time.

Culpepper was set to reveal the details of his termination during a special City Council meeting Jan. 13. But as the meeting was getting underway, a deputy city attorney and HR director Sullivan left City Council chambers to meet outside with Culpepper.  Thirty minutes later council returned saying the meeting was postponed and then later cancelled.