City paid more than $32,000 to former employeeMost of the cost was covered by insurance, city to hire new community development director
Rockland — City Manager James Smith confirmed Dec. 7 the city paid a total of $32,729 to former Community Development Director Audrey Lovering as a settlement when she resigned.
This figure, which includes four months in salary as well as reimbursement for her benefits, represents the gross, Smith said. The $21,667 figure previously reported by the city was the net payment, or what she received after taxes were withheld, according to the city manager.
The city's insurance covered $30,196 of the payout.
Lovering agreed to resign effective Oct. 10, accepting the payment to prevent her from filing any future legal actions against the city.
As part of the deal, the city paid Lovering's attorneys Kelly and Collins $2,000 in fees and expenses.
Attorney Sarah Newell of the Eaton Peabody law firm served as legal counsel for the city, according to a Dec. 6 memo from City Attorney Kevin Beal. The city paid Eaton Peabody $3,799, according to city documents released in response to a written request from The Courier-Gazette.
Local attorney William Maddox was also paid $360 to preside over a disciplinary hearing for the city, according to city documents. The city has not specified the purpose of the hearing. A city invoice for the work is dated Oct. 3.
Lovering's last day of work at city hall was Oct. 1.
City to hire new community development director
Rockland has advertised the position of community development director and resumes have been coming in, according to Smith.
The city manager said the deadline for resumes closes Dec. 14.
The city's personnel board will work with Smith in selecting a candidate for the position and will make recommendations to the manager. The final decision rests with Smith.
He said he is looking for someone who is familiar with state funding, grants and federal earmarks to bring money into the city for projects. He is also looking for someone experienced in dealing with port issues because Rockland has a working harbor. One of the important roles for the community development director is to attract and retain businesses, and Smith said that requires someone who can work well with leaders in the business community.
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