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Parks board meets in closed session

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COLUMBUS, Ind. — Columbus Parks and Recreation Board met Monday afternoon in a closed session in the wake of the demotion of the department's director last week.

Ben Wagner was relieved of his duties Dec. 30 by Mayor Kristen Brown in a move opposed by City Council and questioned by the Park Board.  He has been offered a position as parks department marketing coordinator.

Under Indiana law, governing bodies are allowed to conduct closed, executive sessions to discuss certain subjects, including personnel matters. For about half of the two-hour meeting Monday, the board met with City Attorney Jeff Logston.

After the meeting, Park Board President Brian Russell issued a joint statement for the entire board.

"We had Jeff Logston in to explain the mayor's decision," Russell said. "We took no action but discussed how to keep up the integrity of the parks department."

Look for more information in Wednesday's Republic.

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