DESERT HOT SPRINGS, Calif. - Desert Hot Springs City Manager Rick Daniels may be close to landing a new job in the middle of an investigation costing DHS taxpayers nearly $80,000. We first broke the story on Saturday, now we've learned it isn't coming as a surprise. One concerned citizen says he's trying to leave because of the City's financial troubles.
According to The Oregonian newspaper, Desert Hot Springs City Manager Rick Daniels is a finalist for the County Administrator position in Clackamas County in northwest Oregon. He's among three people up for the job.
Outspoken critic of Daniels, Dean Gray says Clackamas County should know some things before making a final decision, "The city is broke and the City Manager left us this way."
Gray, who is also a journalist, is on Desert Hot Springs's financial committee.
"The City Manager proposed a budget that will basically spend all of our $4 million revenues of our reserves. He'll spent that in this year's fiscal budget," said Gray.
He blames the city's financial state on Daniel's mismanagement.
"We are in this financial mess because of the budget, and that is the responsibility of the City Manager," said Gray. "There is a reason why he is leaving at this time, the report that came in last Thursday night's financial meeting said that we are in a fiscal crisis. We are nearing bankruptcy, we don't have enough revenue to pay our bills."
We reached out to Mr. Daniels for a comment, his voice mail says he is on vacation until July 22nd. The same time he's scheduled to be in Oregon interviewing.
Daniels also the reason Desert Hot Springs is paying an investigator over $77,000. He requested an investigation into allegations that Council Members Russell Betts and Adam Sanchez "bullied" him.
"There is a draft final report that I just completed my review," said City Attorney Steve Quintanilla.
The result of that investigation is expected to be presented to the City Council next month. Despite this, Gray hopes Daniels does get the new job.
"Him leaving at this time, will leave us with the opportunity for change," said Gray.
We reached out to the City's Mayor and Council members, our calls were not returned or they declined to comment
We also contacted Clackamas County but we didn't get a response.