KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Northland City Councilmember Teresa Loar has not talked to either City Manager Brian Platt or former communications director Chris Hernandez since a lawsuit against the city became public.
“I just think it’s kind of maybe a disgruntled employee,” Loar told FOX4 Friday.
The lawsuit claims Platt suggested to his staff during a January meeting this year that they should lie to the media. Hernandez, who was a part of that meeting, claims he told Platt the city shouldn’t do that.
Then in May, Platt was reportedly upset about a story The Kansas City Star did that focused more on pothole patching than street resurfacing, the lawsuit alleges. Hernandez pushed back about calling The Star about the article.
Hernandez was demoted in August, according to the lawsuit.
Hernandez, who’s now a special liaison officer in Kansas City’s Civil Rights & Equal Opportunity Department, would not talk on camera Friday about his lawsuit.
“This whistle blower lawsuit clearly states our concerns about the honesty and transparency that Kansas City taxpayers and residents deserve from City Hall,” he said in a statement.
Platt would not comment on camera Friday either.
“The city will not comment on ongoing litigation other than to say that we deny the allegations of wrongdoing and will respond accordingly in court,” Kansas City press secretary Sherae Honeycutt said in a statement Thursday.
Loar said there are some cultural differences between where Platt is now and where he came from in Jersey City.
“I think he’s doing the best he can with the hand he’s dealt,” Loar said of the job Platt’s doing. “There were some bumps, but nothing that probably didn’t work out some way or another, and I’m not sitting here defending him. I’m just saying he’s got a tough job.”
A conference on the case in Jackson County court is scheduled for April of next year.
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