CLEVELAND (WJW) – The City of Cleveland will soon have a new chief human resources officer, but it’s still unclear what happened to the person who held that job.
On Friday, the I-Team revealed Paul Patton was leaving the position. A spokesperson for the mayor’s office told us at that time they had no information to release.
Now, after the three days, Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb’s office finally released a statement on why Patton suddenly left that job. The statement has left a lot of people reacting with, ‘huh?’
The statement says, “Paul Patton is transitioning out of his role as chief of human resources for the City of Cleveland. Chief Patton has made significant contributions to this administration. We thank him for his service and wish him well in his next chapter. “
City officials also stated that Eduardo Romero, who currently serves as commissioner of risk management out of the department of finance, will serve as the interim chief of HR. He will be sworn in and assume the duties of this role on March 21.
Then, the statement included more mystery.
“As we begin the search for our HR department’s next leader, we have a significant opportunity for a top to bottom evaluation of best practices and areas for improvement.
“To that end, the city’s law department is collaborating with outside counsel Perez Morris, an Ohio-based, women-owned firm with deep experience in labor and employment law, to assist in the review of our policies and procedures.”
So, of course, we sent a follow-up inquiry asking what all of this means. Did Patton resign? Get fired? Get asked to leave?
Officials responded, saying Patton is still an employee of the city. Officials, however, will not say in what role or in what department. They won’t say why he was moved.
So, we also followed up seeking clarity about why they need to review policies and procedures. Why the importance of a “women-owned firm” to handle the job?
This was the response we received.
“As we begin to search for the next leader, we are engaging outside counsel with experience in labor and employment law to assist in the review of our policies and procedures so we can evaluate best practices and areas for improvement. “
We will update this story if we get any direct answers.