Cedar Rapids veterans commission examines duties after firing executive director

(File photo) Mike Jager, Executive Director at Veterans Memorial Commission of Cedar Rapids, is photographed in the commission's offices on the third floor of the Veterans Memorial Bulding in downtown Cedar Rapids on Wednesday, July 29, 2015 (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
(File photo) Mike Jager, Executive Director at Veterans Memorial Commission of Cedar Rapids, is photographed in the commission's offices on the third floor of the Veterans Memorial Bulding in downtown Cedar Rapids on Wednesday, July 29, 2015 (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — The Cedar Rapids Veterans Memorial Commission is re-evaluating the duties of its executive director after firing the previous executive director, Mike Jager, last fall.

Teresa Van Dorston is the acting executive director, and there is no timeline for completing the evaluation, Kristin Delfs, chairwoman of the Veterans Memorial Commission, said Tuesday in an emailed statement.

“The board is currently reviewing the executive director position in the framework of an organizational model that would be the most successful in managing, developing, operating, and maintaining buildings and programs dedicated to our veterans,” Delfs said.

The commission, which consists of seven members appointed by the mayor and confirmed by the City Council, is responsible for the management, development, operations and maintenance of the Veterans Memorial Building, Veterans Memorial Stadium and the All Veterans Memorial Park.

Members are honorably discharged soldiers, sailors, Marines, airmen, or Coast Guard members and are residents of Cedar Rapids, Delfs said.

Jager’s firing, which has not been reported previously, occurred through an unanimous vote following a closed-door meeting Nov. 2. Jager was placed on paid leave from Aug. 21 to Oct. 16, 2017, during which a lawyer, Patrick J. O’Connell, reviewed Jager’s performance.

The O’Connell report was presented Oct. 9, and Jager had the opportunity to provide additional information Oct. 16, but did not, nor did he attend or participate in subsequent commission meetings when his performance was being discussed, according to city records.

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Officials did not elaborate on the details of the firing. But in the statement, Delfs said: “The reasons for the termination of Mr. Jager’s employment include insubordination, unavailability for work, poor work performance, failure to follow required policies and procedures, poor behavior, and neglect of duty.”

Jager’s salary at the time of his firing was $88,774. Jager did not return email messages seeking comment.

l Comments: (319) 339-3177; brian.morelli@thegazette.com

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