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10-31-12


City, fired employee
negotiating severance

Thompson’s request rejected, city counters

by Valerie Verkamp
Landmark reporter

Parkville city officials have extended a second severance offer to Shannon Thompson, the city administrator fired recently after four years on the job.

As city administrator, Thompson was earning $83,000 per year.

During an executive session held Monday morning, the board of aldermen voted 5-2 to offer Thompson a severance package in the amount of approximately $40,000, disbursed in two equal payments.

The initial installment would be paid out immediately after the signing of a severance and release agreement.

The second and final installment would be paid on Monday, Dec. 31.

Records indicate that two roll call votes were actually taken Monday at 11 a.m. The first vote, moved by Alderman Nan McManus and seconded by Alderman Marc Sportsman moved to grant a formal request made by Thompson. In that request, Thompson sought six months severance pay, car allowance, and nine days vacation pay.

That motion failed 7-0.

Then a motion was made to offer Thompson $40,000, less required withholdings, paid upon the signing of a release agreement, encompassing non-disparagement and confidentiality clauses. This motion was passed 5-2 by the board.

Aldermen Jim Werner and Chris Fisher cast the dissenting votes.

Reached by The Landmark on Tuesday evening, Mayor Jim Brooks would not comment as to whether Thompson has accepted the board's second severance offer.

The first severance offer was presented to Thompson when her employment with the city was terminated. The city withdrew that offer, which is similar to the board's latest offer, when Thompson refused to deliver a release of claims to the city by Friday, Oct.19.

Thompson was released from her position, after the board voted 6-2 to terminate her employment Tuesday, Oct. 16. No reason for the firing has been given.

Records show that Thompson was given the option to either voluntarily resign from her position by 4 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 20 or be released from her duties as city administrator by the mayor, acting on behalf of the board.

Thompson did not present a letter of resignation to the board by the deadline, so her employment was terminated as of 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19 and that original severance offer was withdrawn.

City officials have chosen to not disclose any information related to Thompson's dismissal or job performance, but it's apparent city officials wanted her removed from her position despite a potential significant cost to the city in a severance payout.

Thompson had served the city of Parkville since 2008.


Fired