Matthes Speaks out on Schwartze Dismissal

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COLUMBIA - Columbia City Manager Mike Matthes denied Thursday that former joint communication chief Zim Schwartze was removed by police Wednesday after her dismissal from the position. Matthes said the change was purely for budgetary reasons and that Schwartze left on good terms.

Schwartze served on the Columbia Police force before her appointment to the joint communications position, but Matthes said there are no plans for her to work with the city in the future.

Schwartze was scheduled to retire back in Feburary but stayed with joint communications at the request of Matthes. Administrative Manager Joe Piper has taken over as acting director of the center.

Schwartze declined to speak on camera Thursday, but told KOMU 8 News she did not do anything wrong and agreed with Matthes, saying she was cut solely because of a lack of funding.

Matthes also added that she was a great asset to the community and will be missed.