PAOLA — Paola City Manager Sid Fleming has been suspended with pay and benefits pending the results of an independent investigation into personnel matters.

Paola City Council members approved the suspension following a 30-minute executive session at the end of their council meeting Tuesday, Oct. 12.

When the council members returned to regular session, council member Leigh House made a motion to hire attorney Shelly Freeman to conduct an investigation pertaining to personnel matters. The motion was approved unanimously.

House then made a motion to suspend the city manager with pay and benefits while an independent investigation is conducted pertaining to personnel matters. That motion also was approved unanimously.

When asked after the meeting for more information about the investigation, House said she could not comment any more than what was said at the meeting. City Attorney Lee Tetwiler said the same.

Fleming became Paola’s city manager in the spring of 2020 just before the pandemic hit. He replaced Jay Wieland, who announced his retirement in 2019.

Fleming previously was the city administrator for Iola, Kan. He began his career in local government with the city of Wichita, serving in numerous capacities. During that time, he also continued his education and graduated from Wichita State University with a Master of Public Administration. He began his city management career with the city of Yuma in northeast Colorado.

Senior Managing Editor Brian McCauley can be reached at (913) 294-2311 or brian.mccauley@miconews.com.

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