Progress staff reports

RUSK – Local city leaders have accepted the resignation of City Manager Mike Murray, according to a statement issued Thursday, Nov. 10, by the Rusk City Council.

“Mike Murray has notified the city council of his intent to resign as city manager effective Nov. 30. Mr. Murray feels this is in the best interest of the city for healing and restoration of our community,” the statement read.

“The City Council would like to commend Mike Murray for his dedicated service to the City of Rusk. We believe he has done a great job as city manager for the last 10 years and has served faithfully in that capacity.

“In regard to the allegations made against Mike Murray, an independent investigation completed by the Criminal Investigations Division and the Criminal Prosecutions Division of the (state) Attorney General’s office concluded that there was no criminal offense. In addition to those findings, the Rusk City Council does not believe that there was any retaliation done by Mike Murray to the Rusk Police Department.

“The City Council also believes that the city manager has the authority and the duty to oversee the police department. This is mandated by the Rusk City Charter.

“We regretfully accept Mike Murray’s resignation and wish him the best on future endeavors,” the statement ended.

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RUSK – City Manager Mike Murray has submitted a letter of resignation to the Rusk City County, Mayor Angela Raiborn said Monday.

Murray “has indicated to the Rusk City Council that he is submitting his resignation effective at the end of November in order to pursue new opportunities,” she said, adding, “I am sorry to hear this, because I think he's done a great job for the City of Rusk.”

Earlier this year, in July, a former police department employee voiced concerns about illegal wiretapping and asked the council to investigate Murray, who consequently was placed on paid administrative leave. He later was cleared in an investigation headed by the Texas Attorney General's office.

Meanwhile, on Aug. 16, Kilgore resident Jim Dunaway was hired as the interim city manager, a position he will continue to hold until a permanent city manager is hired, Raiborn said.

The council is scheduled to meet in regular session at 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10. The mayor said that it will discuss Murray's letter of resignation during an executive session.

Murray served as city manager from 1995 to 1998, and again from May 2006 until recently.