Troy city manager fired

Move comes after manager arraigned following what police say was a domestic assault incident

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published March 10, 2018

 Troy City Manager Brian Kischnick was arraigned Saturday following a domestic violence incident in Clawson, police said.

Troy City Manager Brian Kischnick was arraigned Saturday following a domestic violence incident in Clawson, police said.

Photo provided by the city of Troy

The Troy City Council fired City Manager Brian Kischnick after about an hour and a half in closed session with a labor attorney in a special meeting Sunday, March 11.

The council unanimously terminated Kischnick with cause, which means he gets no severance.

The decision came two days after police reported that Kischnick spent the night in jail in the city he was hired to manage after he was arrested following what police said was a domestic assault incident at a home on Chocolay Avenue in Clawson at about 10:30 p.m. March 9.

Reached by phone, Kischnick said he had no comment. However, in a letter addressed to the council and dated March 11 — which Mayor Dane Slater said Kischnick had an unnamed third party deliver to him — Kischnick maintained his innocence.

“I was arrested by the Clawson police resulting from an altercation with a friend,” states the letter. “I am extremely sorry and remorseful for the events and the position in which I have put you. … Midway home, my friend became angry, so I asked the Uber driver to stop and let me out of the van to remove me from the situation and avoid conflict. She got out of the Uber about 1-2 blocks west and started walking toward me, and was still confrontational. I attempted to calm her down, diffuse the situation, defend myself and prevent harm to her and I.

“As we continued toward our destination, I was holding her to protect us and get there safely. We fell to the ground at least two times. … I never hit her, abused her, threw her to the ground or harmed her. … There is a complete misunderstanding of the events by others who were neither involved or witnessed.”

Kischnick was arraigned in 52-4 District Court March 10, according to a release from the Clawson Police Department. He appeared without an attorney. A not-guilty plea was entered on his behalf. His attorney could not be reached for comment.

Clawson police had been called to the home on a report of a man pushing a woman to the ground, according to the release.

When police arrived they found several people gathered. Police interviewed a man and a woman involved, as well as independent witnesses who said they saw the incident, then reported it to police.

According to the Clawson police, at about 10 p.m., the man and a woman returned to the home in an Uber from having dinner. They got into an argument on the way home, police said.

Two witnesses told police that the man tackled the woman to the ground, and when she tried to get up, he forcefully pushed her down.

Police said they determined that a crime of domestic assault and battery had taken place, and the suspect was transported to the Troy Police Department until his arraignment the morning of March 10.

Police said a $5,000 personal bond was set, and Kischnick is to have no contact with the woman.

Clawson police continue to investigate.

The council appointed Mark Miller, director of economic and community development, as interim city manager in a 6-1 vote. Slater, Mayor Pro Tem Edna Abrahim, Councilwoman Ellen Hodorek, and Councilmen Ed Pennington, Dave Henderson and Ethan Baker supported the measure. Councilman David Hamilton opposed it. He told the Troy Times that he wanted more discussion on the matter.

“I didn’t have knowledge, as a new councilman, to evaluate this,” Hamilton said.

“I have confidence in you to take us forward until we make a permanent appointment,” Slater said to Miller.

About 20 city employees sat in the council chambers during the meeting.

“Thanks for taking the correct action,” said resident Aaron Green. He asked the council to release a 2016 report on Kischnick’s actions. “We should know his history.”

Kischnick was hired in 2012. In the summer of 2016 he came under scrutiny after city employees raised questions on matters involving a car accident with a city vehicle, issues involving a vendor, the purchase of phone accessories and a car allowance.

In August 2016, the Troy City Council, after heated discussion, voted 4-3 against waiving attorney-client privilege, which would have made public a report regarding Kischnick that the council had considered in three closed sessions.