Carmel City Attorney Doug Haney will go on paid administrative leave for personal reasons, according to Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard.
Reports originally surfaced that Haney was going to resign. An e-mail sent on Aug. 18 to Carmel City Councilors announced the resignation, but Brainard and others had a meeting the next morning and reported that instead of resigning, Haney would go on leave. Brainard said the leave was “personal” and he praised Haney’s ability as an attorney.
Brainard was short and succinct in his official comments because he’s legally prohibited from disclosing some information.
“Doug Haney is going on paid administrative leave,” he said. “It’s totally unrelated to any business before the city.”
Some in the media speculated that Haney’s possible resignation was connected to the recently introduced city ordinance that prohibits discrimination in the city. The law extends new protections for gay and lesbian groups, such as employment, housing and businesses serving customers. Haney helped draft the law and was recently working on exemptions and amendments, such as an exception that said that a business wouldn’t be compelled to work off site or create “custom products.” This possibly means that a cake baker wouldn’t have to go to a gay wedding as a part of the job.
Haney has served as City Attorney since 1997 and also serves as an adjunct professor at Indiana University. He also previously worked the following law firms: Lowe, Gray, Steele & Darko; Scopelitis, Garvin, Light & Hanson and Ice, Miller, Donadio & Ryan, according to his LinkedIN page. He also worked as a special assistant United States attorney and trial counsel for the U.S. Army.
Tentatively, the city has decided to cancel a finance committee meeting on Thursday where the proposed anti-discrimination ordinance would be discussed. Brainard said they are working to reschedule the meeting. It could still go on the same time. The Assistant City Attorney is Ashley Ulbricht.
The city has not yet determined if it will name an interim or acting city attorney.
“No one has been appointed to that position at this time,” city spokesperson Nancy Heck said. “That could change even as soon as later today, but as of this moment, no one has been appointed to the position.”