Two weeks after his position was posted on the Arizona League of Cities and Towns website, Pima Town Manager Sean Lewis has resigned.
In a text to the Eastern Arizona Courier Thursday morning, Lewis wrote he’s “decided to explore other opportunities. In order to have the best turnover possible, I have notified the council and have agreed to help with the hiring process.”
Lewis, who began his job on July 1, 2017, was the subject of an anonymous email sent to the Eastern Arizona Courier on April 20 in which it was alleged he had been fired in executive session by a 4-1 vote on April 13 over inappropriate financial dealings. When contacted later that day, Lewis said the email had been sent to numerous people.
“To this point, everything has been in executive session. I actually can’t say anything except that it is not true, which is why I’m still working,” Lewis said April 20.
During Tuesday night’s council meeting, Pima resident Jedidiah Bigler said during the Call to the Public that he had learned Lewis’ position had been posted on the league’s website April 19 and questioned why the position hadn’t been posted locally. He also inquired as to how he could find out more information.
Mayor C.B. Fletcher advised Bigler to file an open records request with the town.
Lewis wasn’t at Tuesday night’s council meeting and he said Thursday morning he’s on vacation.
Fletcher and council members have declined to comment publicly on Lewis, stating all discussions have taken place in executive session.
It’s not the first time allegations of financial misdeeds have rocked the town.
Former Pima Town Clerk Barbara Herreras was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison and five years’ probation in April 2020, after pleading guilty to attempted theft and forgery.
According to court records, Herreras was suspected of stealing $17,000 in FY16-17 prior to Lewis’ arrival and admitted to Lewis after his arrival that she’d stolen $59,250 from the town’s sewer fund in FY17-18. The town learned the money was missing in March 2018, after an audit by its accounting firm, Colby & Powell PLC.