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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Bean wants full severance from Hillsborough County

Former Hillsborough County Administrator Pat Bean is seeking her full severance from the county, as well as some portion of legal fees she amassed defending herself against allegations of wrongdoing last year that led to her dismissal. Bean was entitled to a year of pay and benefits plus unused sick and vacation pay, all valued at about $455,000, under severance terms in her contract. Instead, commissioners paid her about $191,000 before taxes for the unused sick and vacation pay. They argued that a 1 percent pay raise she discreetly gave herself and allegations of snooping through an auditor's email essentially violated her contract, giving them justification to deny her full severance. A criminal investigation concluded Bean exercised bad judgment, but did not commit a crime. Given that commiting a crime was one of the the main enumerated justifications for denying Bean severance under her contract, she says she now due the balance since she was cleared. Commission Chairman Al Higginbotham said it appears Bean is due to get reimbursed for legal expenses she amassed during the criminal probe, under state law. He said he's less clear on whether she can claim expenses associated with contract talks and her ultimate dismissal. He said her attorney has indicated some possible flexibility over how much in legal expenses she expects to recoup. But Higginbotham said the attorney has not shared dollar amounts or breakdowns. Commissioners are scheduled to discuss how or if to dispose of the Bean matter when they meet today.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 3, 2011 3:17pm]

    

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