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Yelm City Finance Director Joe Wolfe submitted his letter of resignation earlier this week following multiple weeks of administrative leave.

Yelm Communications Specialist Andrew Kollar said Thursday that City Administrator Michael Grayum would continue to oversee duties as acting finance director until a new director is hired. Kollar said he could not say why Wolfe was placed on administrative leave before retiring from his post. The Nisqually Valley News intends to pursue additional information through the Washington Public Records Act.

In a later email to the NVN, Kollar wrote that Wolfe resigned from his position to “pursue opportunities closer to home and spend more time with his family.”

“Joe came on board at a critical time for the City and played an instrumental role working with the City Administrator to transform the City’s budget into a guiding document that allows the City to prepare for challenges and take advantages of opportunities in the future,” Kollar wrote. “The City is in a better financial position because of his expertise and we wish him the best going forward.”

In addition to filling Wolfe’s role, Grayum is also working as acting public works director. Director Chad Bedlington is currently on family and medical leave, Kollar wrote, and the length of his time away remains uncertain. To respect his privacy, the city is not currently discussing the details of his absence.

Information on when both Wolfe and Bedlington took their respective leaves was not available by Thursday afternoon.

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(2) comments


The focus should be on three issues: 1. Administrative Leave on a non-family matter for a department requires an independent investigation in this city's now-unionized shop. What were the results of that investigation and if there was something conclusive or not, then how did the city administrator handle the results with Finance Director Wolfe? 2. Was Mr. Wolfe told he should seek other employment because if he stayed in Yelm, he would be in a difficult position working among accusers, and was he told that PRIOR to the investigation's results? In other words, was Wolfe forced out and/or "shown the door?" If so, why, and was this related to the other multiple revolving door of Finance Director resignations over the last decade? 3. The city's Finance Director opening must be posted internally within city staff prior to be being posted publicly. Will someone in the city's Finance Dept. be appointed to replace the Finance Director, and if so, what comments did that person officially file in any accusations against Wolfe. And if they filed any documents supporting the accusations, should they be disqualified from consideration for the Director's post due to a conflict of interest? As anyone who knows my stands can attest, I have always been against they way some of this city's leadership and their minions impinge a person's reputation without all of the facts being known and/or made public, having had this had done to me in 2005! Steve Klein, Yelm


Has anyone requested all email correspondence on the internal investigation on Wolfe and why he was being investigated? Also, maybe hiring a qualified Finance Director not another friend to the Administrator would be swell. The click needs to go away and the City should be ran as a business. This article should be followed up on with the records request.

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