Black Diamond places city administrator on administrative leave and city attorney resigns

The city of Black Diamond is in the midst of more staff upheaval.

Mayor Howard Botts confirmed by phone City Administrator Leonard Smith has been placed on administrative leave and Loren Combs, the city attorney, has resigned.

Combs appears to be the subject of separate investigations by the state auditor's office, the state attorney general's office and the King County prosecutor's office.

Botts also confirmed Yvonne Ward has been appointed as the interim city attorney.

The City Council will vote to confirm Ward as the interim city attorney at the Thursday meeting.

Ward ran for the 31st District State Senate as a Democrat in 2002 and 2006, losing both races to Sen. Pam Roach, R-Auburn.

Smith was appointed to the position of city administrator following the termination without cause Sept. 25 of Gwendolyn Voelpel.

The Council confirmed Smith's appointment Oct. 1. He was being paid $9,626 per month.

Voelpel was paid $87,015.83 in severance compensation following her termination.

Information concerning whether severance payments will be made to either Smith or Combs has not been released by the city at this point.

In the strong-mayor system of government in Black Diamond, Botts is responsible for terminating and appointing the city administrator and city attorney. The City Council confirms the appointment.

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