Casper City Manager V.H. McDonald announced his retirement late Thursday afternoon, according to a news release from the city.

McDonald, who held the position for 17 months, sent city council leadership a letter stating his retirement will be effective June 1.

He was absent at city council's meeting Tuesday when Mayor Kenyne Humphrey announced the release of a survey by the Fraternal Order of Police that castigated Police Chief Jim Wetzel's leadership. Some members of council had the survey six hours before the meeting. Wetzel, who was listed on the memo's cover page as a primary recipient, did not know about the survey until just before the start of the meeting.

The cover page noted most members of the police department's command staff asked for a meeting with McDonald in April 2016 after efforts fizzled to discuss Wetzel's leadership with the city's human relations department.

McDonald, according to the memo, had the opportunity to investigated issues raised about Wetzel's leadership, the work of the command staff, and communication issues.

"Sadly, approximately one year after this meeting, there has been no communication, no follow-up, and most importantly, no resolution," according to the memo.

City Council leadership has appointed Assistant City Manager Liz Becher to serve as interim city manager, according to the memo from the city. The council now begins the process to recruit a new city manager with the help of Becher and Assistant City Manager Tracy Belser.

McDonald was assistant city manager to former City Manager John Patterson, who announced his resignation in May 2015 and who left on Nov. 1.

The city hired a recruiting firm for $27,000. The firm came up with five finalists including McDonald. County named him the new city manager on Sept. 15, 2015.

McDonald started on Nov. 1, 2015. Since then, he has had to navigate the city through a severe financial crisis affected by tax revenue losses from the downturn in the energy industry.

According to McDonald’s resume, he was named assistant city manager in November 2014, and served as the city’s administrative service director before that for 15 years. He was the finance director for Douglas from 1989 through 1998, and was the finance director for Glenrock from January 1986 to August 1987. McDonald is a Certified Public Accountant and a Chartered Global Management Accountant, and has served on the boards of the Wyoming Medical Center and the Wyoming Government Investment Fund. He earned a bachelor of science in accounting from the University of Northern Colorado at Greeley in 1983.

The council hires the city manager to oversee the departments that perform the city’s functions including law enforcement, fire protection, roads, recreation, public health, waste disposal, utilities, and planning and zoning.

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