Woman withdraws from county race after being fired from job

1 year 3 months 4 days ago March 24, 2016 Mar 24, 2016 Thursday, March 24 2016 Thursday, March 24, 2016 5:52:00 PM CDT in News
By: Jenna Middaugh and Jacob Kornhauser, KOMU 8 Digital Producers

COLUMBIA – A woman has withdrawn her candidacy for Boone County Public Administrator after she said she was fired Thursday from her new job because she was running for office.

Melanie Cusick said she filed to run for Boone County Public Administrator as a Libertarian on Friday.

She said her first day of work as a Children’s Program Coordinator at True North was Monday. Cusick said she had been interviewed for the job March 7.

While walking through the door on her first day of the job, Cusick said the Columbia Daily Tribune interviewed her about her candidacy. Cusick said her immediate supervisor applauded her and knew about her position and Libertarian status.

On Tuesday, Cusick said, she met with her immediate supervisor and Executive Director Barbara Hodges. Cusick said Hodges had a copy of the article. Cusick said Hodges told her she put the company in a bad position because it is seeking public funding and asked her to resign from her job.

Cusick said she told her superiors she wanted the job and offered to resign from the campaign instead, but Hodges said that was not enough. Cusick said Hodges told her it was a “trust issue” because she had not disclosed her activities in the interview. Cusick said she explained she had not yet decided to run at the time of the interview.

Cusick said Hodges sent her home until the executive director could meet with the board and discuss the status of Cusick’s job.

Cusick said she met with her immediate supervisor and Hodges Thursday and they told her they had withdrawn their hiring offer. Cusick said she was paid for her first day of work.

KOMU 8 News reached out to True North for comment but had not heard back as of Thursday afternoon.

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