The McAlester City Council didn’t hire a new city manager during a special meeting held Tuesday night.

City councilors did vote to accept a settlement totaling $37,145.06 from former Ward 4 Councilor and former Police Chief Dale Nave.

In a separate action, city councilors rejected a tort claim against the city from former City Treasurer Rob Corabi.

City councilors met in closed executive session to discuss all three matters.

The possible hiring of a city manager had been included on the agenda. However, the council reconvened in open session without taking a vote on the matter.

Ward 2 City Councilor Donnie Condit heads the council’s search committee to find a new city manager. After the meeting, he said the top contenders are still two applicants from Ohio.

Condit said he’s still waiting to hear a reply from the top applicant, whom he declined to identify.

“He said he wanted some time to think about it,” Condit said.

“He said he would get back to me.”

Condit expects a reply soon.

He said the search for a city manager has been “time-consuming and frustrating.”

“I think all of us wanted to have somebody hired by Aug. 1,” he said.

If the city can’t reach an agreement with an applicant of its choice, there is still the option of hiring a professional search committee, Condit noted.

“But that would take another two months,” he said. “The city needs a city manager.”

The city has been without a city manager since May, when the post became vacant after then-City Manager Susan Monroe resigned. City councilors had voted in April to suspend her for 30 days and then to seek her termination.

Since then, Assistant City Manager Bart Van Nieuwenhuise has been fulfilling many of the city manager’s duties.

In other action, the settlement with Nave releases the former police chief and city councilor from any future legal action regarding his leave buybacks, pensions or other claims.

The settlement calls for Nave to refund the city $21,902.40, “which represents overpayments through city buybacks,” according to the agreement between Nave and the city.

In addition, the agreement also calls for Nave to pay the city $15,243.66, “which represents overpayment on his pension,” the settlement states.

The settlement also states that the city and Nave agree that neither part did anything improper.

City Attorney Bob Ivester said the check to the city has already been written.

Meanwhile, the tort claim filed on former City Treasurer Corabi’s behalf sought $200,000 from the city. Corabi contended he was wrongfully fired by former City Manager Susan Monroe earlier this year.

Corabi and his attorney, Mark Edwards, attended the special meeting, where they learned the council decided to reject the claim.

Corabi can either accept the decision or seek action in civil court.

Edwards contended in the claim that Corabi “was fired for his refusal to commit illegal acts and/or commit acts beyond the scope of his authority as city treasurer.”

The claim also alleged that he was damaged by the “infliction of emotional stress.”

The tort claim sought damages of at least $100,000 each for the alleged wrongful termination and alleged infliction of emotional stress.

The city hired Corabi last February to replace acting City Treasurer Steve Harrison.

Tuesday’s special meeting started at 5:45 p.m. in the Council Conference Room on the second floor of City Hall. City councilors met in closed session for approximately 15 minutes, then broke for the regular city council meeting at 6 p.m. in the Council Chambers on the first floor.

Following the regular meeting, the city councilors reconvened the special meeting upstairs.

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