Upland City Manager Placed on Leave

Upland City Manager Rosemary Hoerning was placed on paid administrative leave last Wednesday, continuing a long trend of turmoil at City Hall. Assistant City Manager Stephen Parker has been named acting city manager.

Neither the city nor Hoerning have explained why she was placed on leave. But a partial timeline of events over the past year could provide a clue.

Hoerning was appointed interim city manager in May 2019 and assumed the permanent role in February of last year. In June, Hoerning placed Police Chief Darren Goodman on leave with the blessing of then mayor Debbie Stone. Outrage ensued and Chief Goodman was almost immediately reinstated. His attorney accused Hoerning of a campaign of harassment and sabotage against his client.

Additionally, a Grand Jury report from August 2020 found that city officials had altered reports and interfered with the duties of the city’s treasurer, Larry Kinley. Kinley resigned in protest a month later. The entire situation painted Stone and Hoerning in an unfavorable light.

A supporter of Police Chief Goodman, Bill Velto, unseated Mayor Stone in the November 2020 election. A new council majority was also ushered in. Now, that council may be poised to let the city manager go.

If Hoerning is fired, she’ll join a long list of terminated city managers, including Robb Quincey (2011), Rod Butler (2016), and Jeanette Vagnozzi (2019). Numerous other administrators have resigned.

Read more about the drama unfolding in Upland at the Daily Bulletin.