Email issue sparks clash between current, former Argyle mayor – Cross Timbers Gazette | Southern Denton County | Flower Mound

Former Argyle Mayor Donald Moser

A dispute between the present and former mayors of Argyle over the mayor’s e mail handle went totally public Monday evening through the Argyle Town Council assembly.

Former Mayor Don Moser resigned for well being causes in 2020 — he stated Monday he’s doing higher now — and Bryan Livingston was appointed to exchange him. On March 7, 2022, Moser went to Argyle Town Hall for an interview with the Town Council for a place on the Municipal Development District Board, and he was stunned when Livingston started the interview by accusing him of utilizing the [email protected] e mail handle lengthy after he stepped down.

“I used to be floored,” Moser stated. “I didn’t know something about it.”

Bryan Livingston, Argyle Mayor Pro Tem

The accusation was additionally information to the remainder of the council. Livingston then claimed to have proof, saying it will be made public quickly, Moser stated.

“He was very accusing, very unprofessional about it,” Moser stated.

Councilmen Ronald Schmidt and Rick Bradford objected to the road of questioning and walked out, they stated, and Livingston started asking commonplace questions for candidates for the MDD place. Moser was later appointed to the board.

The e mail issue arose, in line with city paperwork, on Feb. 25 when Dianne Edmondson, Denton County Commissioner for Precinct 4, informed Livingston that Moser was nonetheless receiving and responding to emails despatched to [email protected] Town workers alerted Fulcrum Group, the city’s IT service supplier, which started investigating and an engineer recognized that there was nonetheless an e mail “alias” related to Moser and the [email protected] handle, and he was faraway from the system. Livingston mistakenly believed that e mail from Fulcrum on March 2 confirmed that Moser was utilizing the mayor’s e mail handle. As Fulcrum performed a forensic audit, Town Administrator Rich Olson stated in an e mail to council that “primarily based on the end result of” Fulcrum’s forensic audit, “a prison referral could also be made. It is just too early to know.”

On March 9, two days after Livingston accused Moser in entrance of the council, Fulcrum reported its audit findings, having decided that the “alias” was a proxy handle left over from earlier than the city switched e mail servers and it “was misinterpreted as proof” that “Moser nonetheless had entry to the [email protected] e mail account, which isn’t true or reality … This proxy handle would under no circumstances have allowed Don Moser to entry the [email protected] e mail account.”

“We have discovered no proof that the alias is related to this dialogue,” stated an e mail from Fulcrum’s Ryan Young on March 30. “That data shouldn’t have been interpreted as proof that Don Moser nonetheless had entry to the [email protected] account in any means.”

Fulcrum Group discovered no proof that anybody apart from Livingston has tried to log in to the e-mail handle. In the 30 days earlier than March 9, there have been no e mail messages despatched from Edmondson’s e mail handle to [email protected]

“My solely conclusion was that Dianne Edmondson will need to have despatched the emails to another person by mistake,” Young stated.

Livingston stated he known as Moser a pair instances to attempt to apologize for accusing him. Moser known as again as soon as, however they didn’t join. A workers report on the e-mail issue was added to Monday’s Town Council agenda, and Moser attended and requested for a public apology from Livingston.

“The city did make a mistake,” Livingston stated. “The IT division made a grievous error and badly served the city … I give you an apology for the error that was made, from me and from the city.”

Moser stated he’ll settle for the apology, however he questioned whether or not Livingston and Olson ought to stay of their positions.

Later within the assembly, Livingston learn an extended ready assertion, totally pinning the blame on Fulcrum and the wording of their preliminary e mail. Livingston stated he selected to ask Moser concerning the e mail issue through the MDD interview as a result of it was a closed session and he “supposed to guard (Moser’s) fame.” Livingston additionally stated the publication of details about the incident is meant to affect public opinion and to punish city workers and himself.

Ron Schmidt

Schmidt, who aligned carefully with Moser typically after they served collectively and himself has been at the center of some interpersonal issues between Argyle leaders and staff members, stated Livingston’s accusation through the MDD interview “was probably the most vicious, heinous, despicable act I’ve ever witnessed.” Schmidt additionally accused Livingston of making an attempt to make use of the e-mail issue as a chance to embarrass Moser.

“I can’t be related to somebody that has so little respect for ethics and morals,” Schmidt stated of Livingston. “The issues which are being executed now, simply unacceptable for a city like this.”

Council member Joan Delashaw stated she wasn’t glad with the report till they’ll unravel what emails Edmondson noticed and what made her assume Moser was utilizing the mayor’s e mail handle, though different council members accepted the truth that it will have been not possible for Moser to make use of the account as a result of (partly) passwords have been modified and the e-mail server was modified since he resigned. Livingston agreed with Delashaw that they need to speak to Edmondson extra concerning the emails.

A heated alternate between Bradford and Olson occurred after Olson went over the timeline and posed a query.

“The first incident was on Feb. 25 … Mayor Moser was accused on March 7 after which findings have been turned in on March 9,” Bradford stated. “Don’t you normally get all of the proof earlier than making an accusation?”

“Councilman, don’t take a look at me, I didn’t make any accusation in any way,” Olson responded rapidly. “If you’ve got an issue, you speak to the mayor about it. Staff was simply doing what we have been requested to do, and you understand that.”

Schmidt and Bradford every stated there have been different points with Livingston in closed session that the general public doesn’t learn about.

“We have had extra government periods within the final 12 months than in all probability the final 5 mixed,” Bradford stated, calling a few of these periods “tongue-lashings” from Livingston.

Bradford additionally stated all council members ought to have been alerted sooner that there might have been a severe e mail breach, if that’s what workers thought it was. Council member Cyndi Hermann and Bradford provided apologies to Moser through the assembly. Schmidt stated he thought it was time to search for a brand new IT service supplier, and Livingston agreed.

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