tells us that while Mayor Steve Bach
says there won't be an agreement, there certainly was one in the works a week ago.
In a Jan. 14 e-mail to Culpepper, city HR director Mike Sullivan
indicated a deal was afoot. From the email, provided by Culpepper:
"Hi George, I am unable to complete the agreement tonight, wanted to be sure you were aware. It is my hope that I will be able to have it completed tomorrow. I will forward to you electronically ASAP, once it is done. Thank you, George ... Regards, Mike."
Further, Culpepper tells us in a text message statement:
"Facts speak for themselves. The city presented an offer to my family and I in order to prevent a public hearing last week. That offer included a settlement of $12,100; 3 months health care benefits; reverse my termination to mutual agreement and they asked I not apply for city jobs for two years."
He didn't say whether the offer was outlined but never presented, but he said he did not reject that offer.
Culpepper also says City Council
plans an executive session at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, after the group meets as the Utilities Board in the Plaza of the Rockies building. "I'm asking for it to be public," Culpepper says via text. Employees who are subject to closed executive session can elect to have the meeting be open to the public. Culpepper said he would make an executive session open on Jan. 13 when Council was slated to discuss the matter, but the session never took place.
Council President Keith King
got back to us this afternoon via e-mail, saying: "This is a personnel matter. This situation points out how little power Council actually has. We cannot hire, fire or direct our employees to do work that we believe is essential for us to do our jobs."
——ORIGINAL POST, 1:44 P.M., TUESDAY, JAN. 21 ————-
The city apparently won't pay severance pay to George Culpepper
, the City Council legislative researcher fired by Mayor Steve Bach
earlier this month.
During a media briefing Tuesday morning, Bach said, "There's no agreement with Mr. Culpepper, nor will there be. It's a personnel matter. That's all I can say." He then referred questions to his chief of staff Laura Neumann
, who repeated that it's a personnel matters that she can't discuss.
Culpepper, who started work Dec. 18 in the $48,500-a-year job, declined to comment on Bach's statement, referring questions to his attorney, State Rep. Bob Gardner
. We've asked Gardner about it and will update if and when we hear from him.
We've also asked Council President Keith King
about Bach's statement and haven't heard back.
Although several Council members expressed anger and outrage that Bach would fire one of Council's hires, City Attorney Chris Melcher
has opined in the past that all city employees, with the exception of the city auditor and Springs Utilities CEO, work for Bach, according to the City Charter.