Omaha needs a new human resources director after the abrupt departure Friday of Tim Young, who was named to the post in 2017 by Mayor Jean Stothert.

Employees learned Friday afternoon that Young would not return from Stothert’s chief of staff, Marty Bilek.

Stothert, approached Friday by The World-Herald about Young, would not say whether he had been asked to resign, calling it “a personnel matter.”

On Monday, Stothert said in press release that she had accepted Young’s resignation, effective Monday. It said he resigned for “personal reasons.”

“We understand and support his decision to step down, and we are grateful for his service,” she said. “We wish Tim and his family the very best.”

Young, reached Monday by phone, said that he left of his own accord, that he lives in Lincoln and that it made sense to find something closer.

Some city employees had complained in recent months about Young’s management. A common complaint was that they felt he favored one human resources employee over others, The World-Herald has learned.

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It was unclear whether those concerns had anything to do with his decision to leave. The city would not comment. Young said they did not.

Young, a lawyer, came to Omaha from state government, where he worked for the Department of Administrative Services and the Nebraska State Patrol.

In Omaha, he served as the city’s labor relations director from 2015 to 2017. In his subsequent human resources role, he oversaw hiring, firing and benefits for the city.

Stothert praised him for labor contract negotiations that pushed city employees toward high-deductible health insurance plans.

She said his work has saved taxpayers a substantial sum of money. Health care savings have been a common theme during city budget discussions this summer.

Young earned $162,345 annually.

Young spent part of last week participating in an arbitration hearing for Steve LeClair, the Omaha fire union president who was fired by the city.

LeClair pleaded no contest in April to two misdemeanor charges in connection with an assault of a woman at a bar.

LeClair, a frequent critic of Stothert’s, has challenged his firing. Three days of testimony in his arbitration hearing ended Friday. The city expects a decision over the next 60 to 90 days on LeClair’s job status.

Bilek, Stothert’s chief of staff, said Young’s departure had nothing to do with LeClair’s arbitration hearing.

Former Deputy City Attorney Jo Cavel will serve as acting human resources director during the search for a replacement.

World-Herald researcher Sheritha Jones contributed to this report.

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