EAST CHICAGO | For the second time in as many weeks, an East Chicago City Council member at odds with Mayor George Pabey is without a city job.
At-large Councilwoman Myrna Maldonado confirmed April 29 she is no longer employed by the East Chicago Public Library.
Maldonado said a letter signed by Library Director Manuel Montalvo was hand-delivered the day before, notifying her that her $51,000-per-year position as associate director of youth services for the library had been eliminated.
First District Councilman Adrian Santos, another council member who recently has been critical of the mayor, was suspended without pay from his $31,000-per-year code enforcement inspector's job on April 14 following alleged misuse of a city-issued credit card.
Both Maldonado and Santos continue to receive their annual council salaries of $20,000 in addition to another $25,000 per year of discretionary funding referred to in East Chicago as a "council stipend."
"There's no doubt that this was political," said Maldonado, who had worked at the library since 2006 after serving nine years as public information director for former Mayor Robert Pastrick.
Maldonado said she will be meeting with an attorney to investigate her legal options in the situation.
She said she tried to talk to city Human Resources Director Frank Rosado about the elimination of her position but didn't get any answers, meanwhile the mayor would not comment on personnel matters.
A rift between some council members and Pabey appeared last year when a minority group, including Santos and Maldonado, opposed the mayor's 2010 city budget, which included pay cuts for police officers and firefighters.
The gap widened this year as the dissidents -- now with a slim majority of votes -- rejected an administration proposal to end a city lawsuit regarding distribution of lakefront casino revenue.