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Columbus Mayor, Park Board Members At Odds
Updated May 16, 2014 7:03 AM
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(COLUMBUS) - Columbus Mayor Kristen Brown and board members of the Columbus Parks and Recreation Department are at odds.

The mayor was a no-show for a meeting of the parks board Thursday and other city leaders were left wondering what happened. The mayor was on the agenda for the meeting and board member Mary Tucker said she was shocked that Brown didn't show up.

The issue stems from the demotion of park director Ben Wagner by the mayor in January. The mayor said Wagner misused a city credit card, among other allegations. Wagner said the claims are false.

Some city leaders think the mayor overstepped her authority by demoting Wagner.

The mayor wants to hire a new director, but first, the board needs to ask the council for money.

It is now up to the mayor to recommend someone to serve as the new park director, but the board will have to OK that nomination.

The board has asked the city council to examine a severance package for Wagner who is currently the marketing and public relations coordinator for city parks.

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