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Eastman, Crestwood Board of Aldermen Agree on Separation Terms

Seven months salary and a one-year health insurance option are part of the agreement.

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.

John Dough May 11, 2012 at 12:05 PM
Putting the recent settlement with (former) City administrator in perspective for the good people of Crestwood. 7 months salary is $ 57,166 . 12 months health insurance say $10,000. Total $67,166. Crestwood retains about 2 ½ % of the sales tax it gets. That means to recoup the $67,166 sales by the businesses of Crestwood will have to total $2,646,640.. If the new Culvers sells a meal for $7.00 then to recoup that amount they will they will have to sell 15,123,650 meals to recoup the loss. Eat hearty…everyone.
Bill Haverford May 11, 2012 at 06:00 PM
Clearly the Board knew they were in the wrong, legally, thus they had to settle. If you follow the letter of the law, there is no need to settle. What did the Board do that was wrong? Mrs. Eastman's credentials indicated she is a person of outstanding character and accomplishment (as was reiterated in her public confirmation review), so clearly the Board had other issues. Can we get a little more investigative reporting here? What did the Board demand Mrs. Eastman do that she couldn't legally do? If they fired her without cause, doesn't that just show their complete lack of understanding of how a city should be run? This Board is absolutely backwards. It will be sad to see our city eventually be consumed by the county, but maybe, in the end, it's for the best.
Alyssa Stahr May 11, 2012 at 06:26 PM
Both the board and Ms. Eastman are legally bound by the settlement to not discuss the reasons behind the separation. Both sides have declined further comment and are now legally bound to do so. The media was specifically mentioned in the document when it comes to this subject.
Lwingo May 11, 2012 at 09:19 PM
WTF? Do you mean to tell me, tax paying citizens have NO right to know why or where our funds are going??? That's B/S!!! This city is alway's near broke. Why won't anyone ask what the hell is going on??? Perhaps it's time for a "Fresh" city lawyer? What a JOKE!!!
Bill Haverford May 11, 2012 at 09:21 PM
Weren't the Board and Mrs. Eastman repeatedly harassed by citizens under the sunshine law to disclose government business? Either way, Alyssa, I'm certain there are many employees of Crestwood that know exactly what happened, which would lead me to believe a good reporter could find out.

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