The Dublin City Council fired Jerry Guillory as its city manager Friday.
After a closed executive session lasting 35 minutes, the council ended its relationship with Guillory citing a "lack of confidence."
In open session, councilman Aaron Carney made a motion for Guillory's termination without severance pay. The motion was seconded by Bobby Mendez before gaining the councilís full support.
Two Dublin police officers escorted Guillory and monitored him as he removed his personal belongings from his office.
Guillory declined comment saying he wants to consider his legal options.
"You'll have a lengthy article to write at that point," Guillory told reporters.
Norris will assume day-to-day operational responsibilities, but said department heads will serve in larger capacities.
"I gave an oath of office to our city, which I took as a serious obligation to our citizens," Norris said. "Under unfortunate circumstances for everyone, I will step up during this time until we can name a new city manager."
On May 14, the council placed Guillory on paid administrative leave while the mayor and three councilmen explored his interactions with employees.
During that executive session, the council consulted its attorney before relieving Guillory of duties, Norris said Friday.
"We didn't feel we could ask Jerry to go into the workplace while we were having pointed discussions with almost every city employee about his actions," Norris said.
The investigation revealed a bullying breakdown at the top the chain of command.
"The council was told Jerry told employees they would be fired if they ever went to the council with concerns," Norris said. "A lot of our conversations were centered on his respect towards others."
The council approached Guillory during the last 10 minutes of Friday's closed session for the first time since his leave. Norris spoke with with him about the reasons behind his termination.
"He said he did not understand some of our concerns." Norris said. "If he didn't understand what's important to the city council, then that's a big problem."
Guillory removed all personal possessions, including Dublin Dr Pepper memorabilia and boxes of files after the meeting adjourned. Officers, employees and council members helped him pack his things.
The search for a new city manager won't begin until later this summer.
"It's a small town with little revenue and we realize we can't offer the best package," Norris said. "That doesn't attract the most qualified applicants."
Dublin's problems aren't attractive either.
"The sewer is hanging over our heads and the grant deadlines are approaching this summer,"
Norris said. "I have the utmost confidence in Cory (James) that we will get everything done, but we will need to get a qualified city manager hired in a timely manner."
Public Works Director Cory James now faces multiple deadlines for federal grant funding.
The police force has problems of its own with high turnover rates in dispatch and officers stretched thin.
The council must approve an operating budget by Sept. 30.