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Motion to dismiss claims withdrawn

A motion to dismiss several claims in a complaint filed against the city by two of its now former employees has been withdrawn from Nevada’s Eighth District Court.

The motion to dismiss is part of a complaint filed Aug. 3 by former city attorney Steve Morris and former city manager Al Noyola alleging a special meeting scheduled for Aug. 6 to discuss terminating their employment contracts was because they substantiated allegations against Mayor Kiernan McManus, who has been accused by city employees of “religious discrimination, harassment, bullying and creating a hostile work environment.”

On Aug. 25, they filed an amended complaint accusing the mayor and City Council of several open meeting law violations.

In a stipulation and order filed Nov. 13, Judge Jim Crockett said Morris and Noyola are allowed to file a second amended complaint in the case. Because of that, the city agreed to voluntarily withdraw one of its motions to dismiss four of the claims against it.

Morris and Noyola also agreed to voluntarily withdraw their counter-motion for attorney’s fees filed Oct. 5.

They were all withdrawn “without prejudice,” meaning they can be filed again.

The withdrawn claims are: that the open meeting law was violated with the notice given for the Aug. 6 special meeting; that it was also violated with email communications Aug. 5-6; that it was also violated with a quorum of council members talking to prospective counsel before it was hired by the city; and that an implied covenant of good and fair dealing was breached.

In the withdrawn motion, Bailey Kennedy, the firm representing the city, was asking those claims be dismissed because Morris and Noyola did not demonstrate any violation of Nevada’s open meeting law. It also asserts that they failed to show the damages that resulted in an alleged breach of an implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing.

The Nov. 13 order does not affect a second motion to dismiss those claims filed by Bailey Kennedy on Oct. 5. In that one, they write the claims should be dismissed because they fall under a strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) .

They claim that Morris and Noyola’s lawsuit against the city is “designed to prevent the City Council from publicly considering actions taken by the Plaintiffs in their official capacities and whether to terminate Plaintiff’s employment contracts for the benefit of the citizens of Boulder City.”

That motion will be discussed in a hearing at 9 a.m. today in Nevada’s Eighth District Court.

There is also a hearing scheduled for Dec. 3 to discuss a motion to dismiss two other claims against the city. Those claims are that there was intentional interference with Morris and Noyola’s existing contractual relations and that McManus and Councilwoman Tracy Folda were part of a civil conspiracy.

Morris and Noyola were fired Oct. 13 after City Council approved 4-1 to terminate their employment contracts “for cause.” Folda requested the items to discuss their contracts be put on the agenda. She said she wanted to address Noyola’s “professional competence” in his “work duties.” The council members also said they had lost confidence in Morris as the city attorney.

Councilwoman Claudia Bridges issued the dissenting vote and said Morris and Noyola had been professional in their dealings with her.

Nov. 13 Stipulation and Order by Boulder City Review on Scribd

Contact reporter Celia Shortt Goodyear at cgoodyear@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9401. Follow her on Twitter @csgoodyear.

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