Hillsborough County ordered to pay former adminstrator severance
A state judge has ordered Hillsborough County to pay former Administrator Pat Bean severance for firing her without cause in connection to a 1 percent pay raise she was awarded without commissioners' approval.
Judge James M. Barton II ruled Tuesday that the 1 percent raise may have been a breach of her contract, which specifies that commissioners were responsible for adjustments to her pay. But he said the raise was not an "illegal act," which commissioners used as justification for denying her severance under terms of her contract after she was fired in June 2010.
The ruling means that Bean is owed $224,120 in payment for the full year of pay she was due under her contract if fired without cause. She is due another $92,345 as compensation for a year's worth of her benefits. Further, she is entitled to another $51,333 in reimbursement for legal fees she incurred in defending herself while the Florida Department of Investigation looked into the pay raises and other issues at commissioners' request and determined that it could not be proved she committed a crime.
Commissioners already have paid Bean $191,737 for unused sick and vacation time that is due to most employees who leave county employment.
The judge's order indicates that Bean may also be due interest on her severance, reimbursement for her legal expenses in pursuing this lawsuit against the county and legal expenses in defending herself against an ethics complaint, which is still pending. But he withheld making a determination on those points with his order.