Groveland city manager tries to return to work, despite being put on leave

Attorney claims Gwen Walker can work since audit has been completed

GROVELAND, Fla. – There's a new round of controversy in Groveland.

The city manager, Gwen Walker, who was on paid administrative leave pending an audit, walked into city hall Thursday and told the interim, Rodney Lucas, his work was done.

According to the Nov. 28 agenda, Vice Mayor Karen McMican placed Walker on administrative leave in December.

Walker was placed on leave after questions arose about how she used city money.

"She was put on administrative leave until the audit was completed. The audit came back and the council has yet to sit down at a council meeting or a workshop to review the audit," McMican said.

The audit came back Jan. 3.

Seeing as the audit came back, Walkers attorney, Derek Schroth, emailed the city attorney, Anita Geraci-Carver,  Wednesday stating his client would return to work Thursday.

Geraci-Carter emailed back saying she, "notified the council, interim city manager and HR of Gwen's intended return."

"The minutes are very specific, after the audit. So, in some people's mind(s) they feel that after the audit she can come back to work but on the other side of the coin you could read it when the audit is finalized by the city council," McMican said.

News 6 tried talking to Lucas when he returned to city hall later in the day.

He wasn't open to talk, only saying, "give me a minute."

Groveland's interim Police Chief Todd English said a complaint about Walker's entrance was made to Lake County Sheriff's Office.

English said he went to city hall where he had a brief talk with Walker.

"She came back to me and said, or actually said to her, let's let any dust settle that's going on here and I guess we can meet at a later date and time," English said.

English said that at this point, he sees no laws being broken.

News 6 stopped by the city attorney's office as well as called to get answers.

Our call has not been returned.

McMican said she's waiting to hear from the city attorney and what she suggests moving forward.