Backroom Hiring of City Manager Lehman Walker
Her ascent to Mayor came with hope for many residents, an opportunity to reform city government, promises or open government, transparency, and public input were all hallmark pledges of her campaign for Mayor.
Within weeks of her election, the first signs of broken promises would become evident. Shortly after taking office, Mayor Welsch announced that the city would be conducting a national search for a new City Manager. Yet within just weeks, it was announced that Lehman Walker had been hired City Manager of the City of University City. We later came to find out that the city had not accepted a single resume outside of Mr. Walker’s. Mr. Walker of course had previously served as a department head and left to take a job in Evanston, IL. Mr. Walker had never been a City Manager, this was a major promotion to him and the Mayor and council gave him a big promotion over his predecessor.
As we later came to find out, Lehman Walker had been advising Shelley Welsch’s mayoral campaign and had in fact emailed the Mayor his resume just days before her election. Mr. Walker was subsequently thrown out of the International City/County Manager’s association (ICMA) in 2012 for ethics violations related to his communications with members of council. Mayor Welsch then voted to change Mr. Walker’s employment contract removing the clause that stated that he was to be a member in good standing of the ICMA.