Council suspends Veleker
Disciplinary agreement between administrator, city
By Angie Landsverk
Waupaca City Administrator Henry Veleker will be suspended without pay for 10 days as part of a disciplinary agreement between him and the city.
The suspension follows his April 10 arrest in the city for drunken driving.
Veleker’s employment with the city was the subject of a closed session when the common council met Tuesday, April 18.
Mayor Brian Smith said the council met in closed session for about 45 minutes and “came up with a discipline agreement between Henry and the city council.”
The council agenda noted the closed session was to consider the employment, promotion, compensation or performance evaluation data of the city administrator/clerk.
The disciplinary agreement, signed April 19 by Smith and Veleker, makes it clear in the first sentence that Veleker enters into it in lieu of being terminated.
Veleker acknowledges he engaged in “serious misconduct by his behavior on April 9, 2017, especially in light of his leadership position in the city.”
In addition, as part of the agreement, Veleker “agrees that if he engages in any future conduct which leads to legal problems with regard to the use of alcohol, such as another Operating While Intoxicated, or other similar charge, such conduct shall subject the employee to termination.”
Shortly after 12:30 a.m. Monday, April 10, Waupaca police were dispatched to the area of South Franklin and West Union streets.
The officers found Veleker sleeping in his vehicle and arrested the 57-year-old for suspicion of operating a vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicant, the first offense.
In addition to the 10-day suspension without pay, the disciplinary agreement includes the suspension of Veleker’s vehicle allowance from the city for the months of May, June and July.
His vehicle allowance is $130 a month, Smith said.
The agreement also requires Veleker to participate in an alcohol assessment under the city’s Employee Assistance Program.
He must provide the city proof of attending the assessment.
If the assessment results in a recommendation that Veleker should attend counseling or treatment regarding alcohol use, he should do so and again provide proof to the city.
Veleker’s 10-day suspension without pay must begin by May 15.
The mayor said Veleker will choose the 10 days.
“He wanted to do it as early as possible but also make sure everything is in order,” Smith said. “From a city standpoint, we want to move forward as soon as possible.”
When asked what 10 days without pay equates to for Veleker, Smith said it is about $3,000 gross.
Before going into closed session on April 18, Smith asked Police Chief Brian Hoelzel to remain for the session.
All the other department heads, as well as City Attorney John Hart, left the council chambers.
When asked why he requested that the police chief stay for the closed session, Smith said, “I thought he could shed some light on what happens for a first offense (for drunken driving).”
In addition to an OWI, Veleker was cited for refusing to take an intoxication test after his arrest.