A second employee at Rockport's municipal office was terminated Feb. 7, one week after Town Manager Robert Peabody Jr. took a paid leave of absence.

On Feb. 14, Peabody signed a severance/release agreement with the town and was paid more than $52,000 as part of the agreement that did not disclose the reason behind his departure.

The second employee, administrative assistant Karla VanAlstine, was a probationary employee, according to a letter of termination sent by then-acting Town Manager Linda Greenlaw.

The letter states the probationary period allows for the town department head to "observe the employee in the actual work environment to judge how well they accomplish tasks, measure up to the department head's expectations, and how well they 'fit' with the organization. Ms. [Virgina] Lindsey and Mr. [Kerry] Leichtman has recommended that your employment with the town be terminated."

The letter indicates VanAlstine declined to meet with Greenlaw to "discuss the reasons" behind the recommended termination and referred Greenlaw to VanAlstine's attorney. The letter further indicates VanAlstine's attorney and Town Attorney William Plouffe have met.

The letter, dated Feb. 7, states the termination was effective the same day.

Town officials have previously stated there have been two complaints against town employees since December 2012. Officials have declined to describe the nature of either complaint, one of which required an outside investigator and led to Peabody's resignation.

Courier Publications Associate Editor Stephanie Grinnell can be reached at 236-8511 or by email at sgrinnell@courierpublicationsllc.com.