Brian Kishnick was just trying to "avoid conflict" with a 28-year-old colleague "after a small group ate dinner," he says in a handwritten letter Sunday to Troy's seven council members.
The last-ditch appeal didn't save his job that paid $236,534 a year, including salary ($158,105) and benefits. Kishnick was fired hours later in a hastily called meeting after being arrested on a domestic violence charge on the night he describes in 10 paragraphs. (Earlier coverage is here.)
He describes a post-meal conflict Friday night in Clawson that began in the back seat of an Uber.
"As the situation escalated, I attempted to calm her down and prevent harm," says the municipal administrator, a Michigan State graduate with a public administration degree from Western Michigan University. "I was only trying to calm her down and make sure she arrive home safely."
Kishnick, who lists his Facebook status as divorced, grew up in Saginaw as the son of a machine shop owner and began his career as assistant city manager in Largo, Fla., before working for two other Michigan municipalities before coming to Troy in November 2012.
When he got a five-year contract renewal in June 2015, Mayor Dane Slater said: "I think we made a real good decision to hire Brian Kischnick as a city manager and I think he has done an outstanding job."
Here's the text of his two-page appeal to the council near the end of an epic weekend:
'We fell to the ground at least two times'
March 11, 2018
To Troy City Council:
As you are aware, on the night of March 9, 2018 at approximately 9:30/10:00 p.m., I was arrested by the Clawson Police, resulting from an altercation with a friend.
I want to make it clear that this letter is in no way intended to be a statement of influence. To the contrary, I am extremely sorry and remorseful for the events and the position in which I have put you as individuals and council members as the employer of me.
The significant events should be known and communicated. After a small group ate dinner, as a matter of practice, we utilized an Uber to take us back to our destination.
Midway home, my friend became angry so I asked the driver to stop and let me out of the van to remove me from the situation and avoid conflict. She got out of the Uber about 1-2 blocks west and started walking toward me, and was still confrontational. As the situation escalated, I attempted to calm her down and prevent harm to her and I.
As we continued toward our destination, I was holding her to protect us and get there safely. We fell to the ground at least two times.
The fact is I never hit her, abused her, threw her to the ground or harmed her. I was only trying to calm her down and make sure she arrived home safely.
Her own verbal comments to the Clawson P.D. at the scene were: She was not hurt, I did not hurt her and I never would hurt her. She consented to enforce these statements and verbalized she would not press charges as it was a situation between us where she was not hurt in any way.
There is a complete misunderstanding of the events by others who were neither involved or witnessed the series of events that took place before we arrived near our destination.
It is without question that I would never hurt a female, never have nor would I cause harm to her. I am confident she will corroborate the facts I have presented, and the comments at the scene that she was not harmed in any way.
Fortunately, there was no physical harm to either of us.
Brian M. Kishnick
Images of the letter were tweeted Sunday by Jim Schaefer of the Detroit Free Press.
Compensation figures are from the city's Open Troy dashboard.