Less than 72 hours after being told that he was out as City Chaplain, Denny Manning was reinstated to the job.
On Monday morning, Manning said that he was contacted via telephone by City Manager Scott Miller who apologized for firing Manning on Friday.
“It shocked me when he called,” Manning said. “He wanted to give me my job back. I told him, ‘you fired me in writing, you need to hire me in writing.'”
Manning produced a letter on City of East Ridge stationary from Miller that states he was sorry about the whole business.
Miller wrote in the letter “my actions were harsh and, in this instance, out-of-line, and I sincerely apologize to you.”
Miller goes on to write that he wished to re-instate Manning as City Chaplain and apologized “for the stress and grief that I have caused you.”
During an April 26 City Council meeting in which Mayor Brent Lambert was absent, Manning spoke during the “communications from citizens” portion of the meeting. Manning said that he was speaking as a private citizen. He proceeded to call Lambert “chicken” for not showing up to the meeting were more than 100 angry residents were in high dudgeon over the city’s housing and redevelopment authority.
In a letter dated May 4, Miller wrote to Manning and characterized Manning’s comments during the council meeting as inappropriate and disrespectful. Miller informed Manning in the letter that he was terminated as the City Chaplain, a non-paid, volunteer position.