Former Lake City Human Resources Manager claims wrongful termination, supports call for firing of the City Manager

Updated: Jun. 17, 2021 at 6:22 PM EDT
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LAKE CITY, Fla. (WCJB) - A press conference supporting former Lake City Human Resources Manager Ami Fields was held at the Richardson Community Center Thursday afternoon after Fields said she was wrongfully fired.

Fields was fired a week ago by city manager Joe Helfenberger after only being in the position for two months. Helfenberger told TV20 that he can not speak to personnel matters but said he released Fields because she was “not a good fit for the city.”

Residents who held the community press conference say they’re now calling for Helfenberger’s termination.

“We almost have a third vote, from what I’m hearing, that Mr. Jefferson may be on board and that he says that he stands in the corner of Mrs. Fields. But we cannot take a chance on Mr. Jefferson. We have to talk to Mr. Jefferson. We need to put pressure on Mr. Jefferson and let Mr. Jefferson know that this is the first time that we ever had someone this qualified, who looked like us to hold this position. And for her to be wrongfully terminated, he has not done anything for us in 20 years, he could at least help us with this one.”

A special meeting is set for Monday at 5 p.m. for Lake City Council members to discuss Helfenberger’s performance. The meeting will go on just before Lake City Council’s regular meeting at 6.

At this special meeting, the group that organized Thursday plans to lean on the support from the police chief, utility director and other Lake City officials to rescind Helfenberger’s decision to terminate Fields.

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