Knight placed on paid administrative leave

Photo by Tamie Meck Paonia town administrator Ken Knight addresses the town board during the visitor section of the July 23 board meeting about a July 19 incident that occurred between Knight and a citizen. The incident resulted in a complaint by the cit

A small audience that included members of the media and a handful of Paonia citizens waited to hear the fate of Paonia town administrator Kenneth Knight the evening of Sept. 4 during a special meeting called by the board of trustees, but no final decision was made. To start the meeting, the board entered into a roughly half-hour executive session to receive legal advice from town attorney Bo Nerlin. Following the closed-door session, trustees voted to continue discussion related to the termination of town administrator Ken Knight's contract to the regularly scheduled Tuesday, Sept. 10 meeting.

Knight was placed on paid administrative leave July 29 following a July 19 incident involving a citizen that resulted in a harassment charge against him by the Delta County Sheriff’s Office. The paid leave will continue until the board terminates Knight's contract either by a separation agreement or termination.

Matters discussed, according to the motion to enter into the executive session, were related to "negotiations, developing strategy for negotiations, and for instructing negotiations" related to Knight's contract, as allowed under Colorado open records laws.

While the board did not elaborate on the information provided, trustee Mary Bachran made a motion following the executive session, "Based on the information provided to the board tonight," to continue discussion to the regular board meeting.

"I think it's important that members of the public know that this will be the first item on the agenda," said trustee Dave Knutson prior to the vote. The Sept. 10 meeting begins at 6:30 p.m.

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