Apopka mayor under fire for hiring consultant to review city departments



APOPKA, Fla. - Channel 9 asked Apopka's new mayor why he hired a consultant with a questionable past to review city departments instead of doing the work himself.

Joe Kilsheimer hired Holly Hill's former city manager, who was fired from that city after being accused of destroying documents to avoid a pay cut.

Kilsheimer made the hire on his own without consulting the commission, Channel 9 learned.

He didn't have to consult the commission because the hire falls under city administration functions and he has the ability to make purchases under a certain amount as mayor, but WFTV's Karla Ray asked why he didn't do the work himself, especially considering his salary is almost the same as Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs.

Despite his salary of $150,000 per year, Kilsheimer hired Oel Wingo to do a review of the city's departments.

"How our different departments interrelate with each other and it's all being viewed from a best management practices perspective," he said.

The mayor said it's an effort to weed out outdated practices in a city that's had the same leadership for 60 years.

But the woman hired to do the work has a questionable past. Wingo was fired from her post as Holly Hill city manager after being accused of destroying documents to avoid having a pay cut.

Wingo's agreement sets her payment at $60 an hour. It states she'll do questionnaires and on-site interviews of staff members. In six weeks, she could make more than $14,000.

Kilsheimer said Wingo came recommended by sources at the Florida League of Cities. He said he hired her without a commission vote, leaving some to question why an outsider is working on what appears to be city business.

"Some people might argue this is what a mayor or a city administrator should be doing. Why can't you do it yourself?" asked Ray.

"Well, I could do it myself. The nice thing about having a consultant do it is they can do it without any preconceived notions about the questions that might be asked," said the mayor.

Kilsheimer said many people in the city are still upset about the election so he believes they wouldn't be honest if he were asking the questions.