A group of Phoenix employees is urging reinstatement of the city's public works director, who was fired suddenly on Saturday.

A group of Phoenix employees is urging reinstatement of the city's public works director, who was fired suddenly on Saturday.

Eight city employees submitted a letter to the City Council at its meeting Monday night asking that the city rehire Bob Lewis, who has worked for the city for more than 15 years.

Lewis was placed on administrative leave Friday and, according to employees Monday night, was served with a letter of termination by Phoenix police on Saturday.

Public works administrative assistant Theresa Styphers presented the letter protesting his discharge to the council, saying, "employee morale is at an all-time low."

Mayor Carlos DeBritto declined to comment on the decision, but when asked whether the termination was budget related, he did say, "Yeah. I would say that everything right now is pretty much budget related.

"At this point, we're going to go through the budget process and see how that shakes up because that would then show us the direction we would need to go," he added.

Lewis also declined to comment.

The employees' letter says that during recent budget talks, Lewis presented alternative budget ideas that would have resulted in fewer personnel cuts but that his proposal was met by his being placed on administrative leave.

— Buffy Pollock, for the Mail Tribune