Paris city attorney keeps job after motion to terminate him fails

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PARIS, TX-- Paris' city attorney was one vote away from losing his job Monday night.

After reconvening from executive session Monday night, councilman Dr. A.J. Hashmi said he was unhappy with City Attorney Kent McIlyar's performance over the past few months, and made a motion to terminate his services.

"There were multiple occasions where I had one to one meetings with him, as well as within the council meetings, to tell him I'm dissatisfied with his performance," said Dr. A.J. Hashmi.

The motion failed with a three to four vote. McIlyer, who has been the city attorney for the past 7 years, says it's a highly unusual motion to make.

"I haven't been evaluated for the last year by the city council," said City Attorney Kent McIlyar.

District 6 councilman, Edwin Pickle, was one of the four who voted to keep McIlyar. He says Hashmi went about it the wrong way.

"To say you want to terminate him all of a sudden without any written reprimands, without any written documentation, I think that it is unethical and unprofessional," said Edwin Pickle. "I just don't agree with it."

Hashmi claims he requested records that were not provided by the city attorney. He also says a meeting, that occurred by phone between the mayor, mayor pro- tem, two city officials and PEDC investigator Danny Defenbaugh, was not posted nor was there a public record of the minutes or recording of the call.

Hashmi says the city attorney's job is to protect the council and he hasn't done that.

"He's acted in a manner that is against the law number one," said Dr. Hashmi. "He's acted as the mayor's attorney where as really he represents the council."

Hashmi said he asked for the evaluation of the city attorney to be placed as a regular agenda item, but Mayor Matt Frierson changed it to a closed session.

"Mayor Frierson acted as a dictator," said Hashmi. "He changed an agenda item that was placed on by another council member and had no right to do that."

A date for the city attorney's yearly evaluation has not been announced.