More questions about former City Administor Petree Eastman's departure from the city have been answered.
According to city documents, the Board of Aldermen met in two separate closed meetings in March and April to discuss Eastman's future. Discussion was held regarding a legal action in both sessions, and a motion was made to authorize payment of seven months severance and 12 months of health insurance.
A joint statement between the city and Eastman explains that a list of directives were issed in a March 5 memo to Eastman after the March closed session. Eastman responded March9 in a memo, expressing her belief that "certain of the directives represented material changes to her authority and duties and that, according to her terms of employment with the city, she concluded that such action by the board constituted a termination without cause." She asserted that as a result of the termination she was due severance and other employment term benefits.
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Following discussion and consultation with City Attorney Robert Golterman, the board, while stating they were not in agreement with Eastman's assertions, and believing that it had acted in accordance with its powers, has "nevertheless chosen to enter into a Separation Agreement with Ms. Eastman rather than incur the expenses and risk of an adverse outcome associated with a potential lawsuit."
The separation agreement, dated May 3, 2012, outlines these items along with releasing the city from any future litigation. Eastman and the city also agreed to not discuss the circumstances surrounding the employee's termination.
Eastman was employed with the city Oct. 17 through March 9, with a salary of $98,000 annually. Fire Chief Karl Krestler is filling the position on an interim basis.