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Harrington City Council appoints new mayor after city scandal

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Milton Pratt
/
Delaware Public Media

The Harrington City Council appointed a new mayor Monday to replace one accused of misconduct.

 

Former mayor Anthony Moyer was caught up in an allegation of misconduct by a ex-city planner, Jeremy Rothwell. Rothwell accused Moyer and the city manager, Don Williams, of bullying employees, using their office’s for personal gain and flouting the city code back in October.

 

The state concluded that Moyer and Williams more likely than not abused their offices. Williams was let go but Moyer, being an elected official, couldn’t be removed so easily.

 

Moyer resigned earlier this month due to health related issues. City council  appointed Duane Bivens to take over through the end of Moyer’s term in 2021.

 

Daniel Tartt is the new city manager.  He was hired in May and wants to make sure the city avoids similar issues in the future.

 

“I think anybody entering a position of this nature after the turmoil and termination of the city manager would do that. You would absolutely take a look at those allegations and make sure you don’t fall into the same routine.”

 

Tartt adds the scandal has left business owners and builders wary about developing in the city.

 

Tartt says he’s excited to work with Bivens to improve the city.

 

“Duane wants to get out and walk the streets and talk to citizens. He wants to talk to small business owners. He wants to see Harrington grow. He wants to see employees grow as well.”

 

He notes Bivens will be the city’s first Black mayor and he hopes to work with him to heal the wounds of the past and move Harrington forward.

Roman Battaglia grew up in Portland, Ore, and now reports for Delaware Public Media as a Report For America corps member. He focuses on politics, elections and legislation activity at the local, county and state levels.