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Stevens Point hires former Wausau city official

The crest of the City of Stevens Point.
The crest of the City of Stevens Point.
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STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAU) –Wausau’s former community development director will fill the same role in Stevens Point.

The City Council voted 10-0 Monday night to appoint Mike Morrissey to replace outgoing director John Gardner.

Morrissey will start on November 16th and will earn $70,246, above the minimum salary of $63,026.

Council members approved Morrissey’s appointment knowing that he had been the subject of an internal investigation in Wausau last year.

But a private investigator concluded that while Morrissey engaged in a personal relationship with his assistant director, he did not promote that employee because of that relationship. Steve Immel also cleared Morrissey of allegations he created a hostile work environment and misused his city-issued cell phone.

“No one that I had an application from was able to demonstrate even a fraction of the amount of development success that Mr. Morrissey has experienced in Wausau,” said Stevens Point Mayor Andrew Halverson.

Halverson said the city launched a nationwide search when director John Gardner announced in late July that he would retire in early December. He said Morrissey was his top choice.

“That enthusiasm and that energy – not wanting to simply sit and be retired but be engaged in something that can be big again – that's exactly what sold me and the Council as well,” Halverson said.

Morrissey was unavailable for comment after the vote.