Gateway

Gig Harbor city administrator placed on paid leave after less than a year on the job

Gig Harbor City Administrator Wade Farris has been placed on paid administrative leave, and no one will say why.

Mayor Kit Kuhn declined to provide details Monday, saying “We hope to be able to say something soon.”

Kuhn said it has nothing to do with anything that would involve law enforcement.

Reached by the Gateway, Farris, placed on leave June 3, declined to comment. City Council members also declined to discuss the matter.

Farris has been city administrator for less than a year. He began work on Aug. 9, 2018 at a salary of $158,000 a year.

The previous city administrator, Ron Williams, was paid $142,000 a year.

In January 2018, Kuhn let Williams go on his first day, saying he did not feel Williams was qualified to be the city administrator.

Farris was city administrator in the Eastern Washington city of Othello for five years prior to coming to Gig Harbor, the Gateway previously reported. Before that, Farris had a long career in the Air Force and retired as a major general in 2013.

His military background was one reason he was selected for the position over the other candidates, Kuhn said in July 2018.

Farris graduated from the University of Alabama and has a master of arts degree in organizational management, with a focus on public administration, from Ashford University.

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