Commissioners Dodge Questions on Burdette Park Director

The search for the leader of Burdette Park continues behind closed doors.

Tuesday, the Vanderburgh County Commission held an executive session meeting to discuss who will be the park’s director.  The decisions have created a divide between two branches of county government.

The meeting aims to give clarity for some in charge, but it's still just as foggy for folks on the outside.

“I won't get into the details of personnel matters,” says Commission President, Bruce Ungethiem, “we will take things under consideration that we talked about today.”

He and Commissioners Ben Shoulders and Cheryl Musgrave discussed several options, Ungethiem says.

Two weeks ago, Shoulders and Musgrave voted to fire Burdette director Jacob Murphy. Ungenthiem wasn't at that meeting, and he advised Shoulders and Musgrave against the decision.

Eyewitness News waited almost two hours on the third floor of the Civic Center, outside the Commissioners meeting room to talk to Shoulders and Musgrave.

They apparently used an emergency exit across the hall to leave the building, rather than face our questions at the elevator.

Ungenthiem was visibly frustrated at the time with the decision by his fellow commissioners, but he clarified his position following Tuesday’s executive session. “I guess what you saw was,” he explains, “there is a process by which you need to go through when you do something like this.”

He says the goal of the executive session was to get back on the same page. “We got a little bit ahead of ourselves by doing what [Shoulders and Musgrave] did and we just needed to slow down and go through the process.”

Amid the turmoil surrounding his appointment, the commission's chosen replacement, Pat Tuley has pulled out.

The Commission meets publicly again April 4. Officials say Jacob Murphy is under consideration to be re-hired.

Burdette Park still needs a new leader while some of Vanderburgh County's leaders left us in the dust.


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