Former Hughson City Manager Joe Donabed was terminated on Monday by a divided City Council.

Donabed allegedly forced his employees to do work beyond their working titles, did not allow them to speak to the City Council and accusations that he was spying.

Some members of city staff have differing opinions.

Deputy City Clerk and Management Analyst, Dominique Spinale, said, “I think Joe is a very good manager. He is a very intelligent man.”

Against claims of negative management and wiretapping of city workers, Spinale claimed, “He never wire-tapped any phones. If that was being done it was done without anyone in the city’s knowledge.”

Spinale said the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department was conducting an investigation in the city concerning computer issues.

“They were the ones handling the issue,” Spinale said.

When asked if this was the first time Donabed’s position has been in question, Spinale said, “I would have to say no. His position has been up for evaluation for the past couple of months. It was in the air.”

From Spinale’s experience in county government to her almost two years experience in the city of Hughson, she said Donabed is very professional and well respected in the public sector.

“I was upset and disheartened when I heard the news, but I understand this isn’t untypical,” Spinale said.

As stated in Donabed’s contract, a 30-day written notice was given marking the city’s intent to terminate.

The final vote on this issue will not come until November 23.

Louis Dettorre can be reached at