The city of Urbana is without a law director and municipal court prosecutor following Breanne Parcels’ dismissal from her dual positions earlier this week.
In a letter addressed to Parcels and dated Feb. 27, Mayor Bill Bean states that per the Urbana City Charter, the director of law “serves at the pleasure of the mayor.”
Bean goes on to state in the letter, “Effectively immediately, I dismiss you as the Director of Law for the City of Urbana.” He concludes by stating, “I appreciate your past service to the City of Urbana. I wish you the best in the future.”
Per Section 3.03 of the city charter, as referenced by the mayor in his letter to Parcels, the mayor is given the power to appoint the director of law, who “may be removed by the Mayor without cause.”
Parcels, who received her juris doctor degree from the University of Dayton School of Law in 2012, was hired as the city’s director of law on Dec. 27, 2013, and assumed the role on Jan. 1, 2014.
As is required by city ordinance, Parcels, as director of law, was also assigned to serve as Champaign County Municipal Court prosecuting attorney.
“It has been a privilege and honor to serve the city of Urbana and residents of Champaign County the past three years,” Parcels told the Urbana Daily Citizen Friday afternoon.
A public records request filed by the Daily Citizen revealed Parcels’ personnel file contained no written disciplinary actions and no specific reasons for her dismissal.
On Jan. 1, 2016, Parcels and the city entered into the most recent legal services agreement between both parties, which was scheduled to run through Dec. 31, 2019.
In response to Parcels’ termination, Bean said, “We appreciate her efforts during the past several years with her service to the city administration, City Council and municipal court. We all wish her well in her future endeavors.”
As for the current vacancies, Bean added, “We will discuss backfilling (Parcels’) various responsibilities and temporarily reassigning them to keep things moving while we recruit for the opening. We will act thoroughly and efficiently to fill this position.”
Once a new appointee is selected by Bean, Urbana City Council (per city charter) must approve the appointment by a majority vote.
Council’s next scheduled public meeting is 6 p.m. on March 7 in municipal court chambers.