Park Board relieves Wharton

The Minot Park Board voted to dismiss horticulturist Steve Wharton during a regularly scheduled Park Board meeting held at the Minot Auditorium Tuesday evening. Only one Park Board member, Chuck Emery, voted against the dismissal.

Connie Feist, chairman, began Tuesday’s meeting by informing a large gathering that the Park Board would meet in executive session for the purpose of consulting an attorney on a personnel issue. At that time the large gathering, most of whom apparently were present to show or voice support for Wharton, left the meeting room.

Approximately 40 minutes later the doors were opened to the room and the crowd returned. The Park Board voted to accept the recommendation of the park director and a lengthy investigative job performance review. A motion was made, seconded and passed to terminate Wharton immediately.

Several people in the audience attempted to discuss the Wharton firing with the Park Board but were denied doing so.

“We are not going to entertain any further discussion on this at this time. This case is closed,” Feist told the gathering.

The investigative report, said Feist, was over 100 pages and was a public record. Feist added that copies of the report were not available at the meeting but could be requested at the Park Board office during regular business hours. Wharton had been placed on paid leave during a Park Board meeting held June 17 pending a review of his job performance.