WDAY: The News Leader

Published November 16, 2010, 08:33 AM

Mapleton's Water Superintendent resigns after being placed on administrative leave

Mapleton, ND (WDAY TV) - A developing story out of Mapleton tonight, after the town's water superintendent was put on administrative leave. A special meeting tonight to deal with the issue was cut short. Some people think Hugo Zamarron was forced out.

Before the council could even vote on Zamarron's future tonight, he read a statement calling out some council members and city employees on harassment and discrimination. Then he suddenly resigned.

"I no longer feel safe and can not continue to work in such an unhealthy and discriminatory environment. The actions of the city and its employees have forced me to resign my position as Water Superintendent effective immediately."

The issue started last week when Zamarron was showing another employee how to open a city drain. After it was opened, water came rushing into this lift station, where a construction worker was working. The mayor called it a miscommunication.

"I think this council needs to do some serious soul searching as to how to create and I’ve asked numerous times for this council to write down exactly what they expect of these personnel and they've refused and I’m going to insist that this gets done."

Zamarron wasn't aware of what had happened, but the employee he was with did. That employee contacted council members and they called the city's lawyer.

Zamarron says no one told him about the incident until that night, and he was put on administrative leave the next day. One council member, who backed Zamarron, says it was a clear sign he was being pushed out.

After his resignation was accepted, the council voted 2 to 1 to hire the town's old water superintendent on a temporary basis. Zamarron says it was a done deal before he even showed up tonight.

A week before the drainage incident Zamarron filed a complaint against a council member. Zamarron would not comment on whether or not he'll file a lawsuit against the city.