Bean severance lawsuit heads to court
Former Hillsborough County Administrator Pat Bean, fired in June 2010 for giving herself a secret pay raise, takes her case to be paid full severance to trial Thursday. Bean, 66, says she’s entitled to a year’s pay ($224,120), the value of a year of benefits ($92,345) and attorney’s fees amassed during a criminal investigation (about $51,000), after the state attorney’s office found it could not prove the raise broke the law. Commissioners said the 1 percent raise, awarded in 2007 but unearthed by an auditor later, triggered a provision in her contract that said she could be denied severance if fired for committing an illegal act to benefit herself. Despite the state attorney’s finding, commissioners say the raise violated the county’s charter, which gives them sole power to adjust the administrator’s pay, making it an illegal act. The board has previously paid Bean about $191,000 for unused sick and vacation time.