Ex-Belding city manager loses auto store dispute

Meg Mullendore. (Courtesy the City of Belding)

BELDING, Mich. (AP) — Was a plan to fire a city manager hatched amid motor oil and windshield wipers?

Margaret Mullendore says the Belding City Council in western Michigan illegally conducted city business when three of five members discussed her fate at an auto parts store in 2015. She sued, claiming a council majority had violated the open meetings law.

But the state appeals court wasn’t convinced. In a 3-0 decision Thursday, the court says there’s no “competent evidence” that the three council members met for public matters.

Mike Scheid says he was working the sales floor at Belding Parts Plus and wasn’t part of a conversation between co-worker Thomas Jones and Dennis Cooper. The trio voted to fire Mullendore at an open council meeting that night.