Mayor Anthony Williams speaks more about demands for truth about City email leaked to KTXS

Bill Gersonde and Mirenda Walden

The Mayor of Abilene is talking more about the City of Abilene's demands for the truth about the internal City email that was leaked to KTXS.

Mayor of Abilene Anthony Williams said that the City of Abilene wants to find out who leaked the internal City email that was given to KTXS in the first week of December.

The confidential email outlined thousands of dollars in severance packages that were given to Abilene Animal Services' director and the Abilene Zoo's director to leave their posts in the City of Abilene.

The message, which was written by Abilene City Manager Robert Hanna, was an internal email that the general public was not supposed to see and it uncovered that thousands of dollars of taxpayers' money were being used in severance packages that were given to the two City of Abilene departmental directors who resigned after complaints surfaced against them.

According to Williams, the City of Abilene wants to know who sent the internal City email to KTXS.

"Was it illegal?," asked KTXS Reporter John Rupolo.

"It depends, some would argue it may or may not have been," said Williams.

The City of Abilene is asking all of the Abilene City Council members and Williams to sign an affidavit stating that they did not leak the secret email or face supposed "recourse."

"What is that recourse?," asked Rupolo.

"The council could censure, if it's staff, the council could address it as a personnel issue," said Williams.

Keep in mind that the general public was never supposed to know that the City of Abilene gave out severance packages to former Abilene Zoo Director Bill Gersonde and former Abilene Animal Services Director Mirenda Walden after they both resigned from their positions.

KTXS only found out about the severance packages after a source leaked to the station the private email.

KTXS asked Hanna weeks ago if the City of Abilene paid the two City departmental directors to leave their jobs.

The response from Hanna was, "I can't comment on that."

The City of Abilene later said that they could not release the information because of legal issues with the separation agreements.

Williams said on Friday that he is not concerned about the severance packages being leaked, but said that the leaking of confidential City emails could jeopardize privileged discussions that the City of Abilene is working on to grow their city and called the leak irresponsible.

"Abilene is competing with other municipalities. The information has to be privileged, it compromises our ability to close the deal," said Williams.

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