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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Golden parachutes for Hillsborough's top brass



TAMPA — As Hillsborough County commissioners debate the fate of their top three appointees, one not-so-small, lurking matter is coloring the discussion: their more than $720,000 in combined severance payments if they are fired without cause.

County Administrator Pat Bean and County Attorney Renee Lee would be owed a year's pay and benefits. Because of her 33 years of service, Bean alone would have a buyout of nearly $450,000. Internal auditor Jim Barnes would be owed three months' pay.

The severance provisions aren't uncommon for local government leaders, given the tenuous nature of their jobs. Still, some consultants say Bean's and Lee's severance pay is on the generous side.

"It disgusts me," said Commissioner Mark Sharpe, who wants to fire Bean and Lee. He was not on the board when their contracts were crafted.

He said that "$400,000 in the public sector is outrageous. I will be paying close attention to contracts in the future."

Read Bill Varian's report here.

David DeCamp, Times staff writer


[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 12:29pm]


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