Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hillsborough commissioners will explore ex-county administrator's money demand

TAMPA — Hillsborough County commissioners want to know exactly how much money ousted County Administrator Pat Bean is seeking to at last cut ties with the county.

Commissioners on Wednesday gave their blessing for Chairman Al Higginbotham to contact an attorney involved in the case to determine the extent of Bean's financial demands.

"I don't know what she wants," Higginbotham said.

He said he hopes to have Bean's response for consideration at the board's next regular meeting in two weeks.

Higginbotham got a letter last week from an attorney the county had hired indicating Bean is seeking more money than what she got when her contract was terminated in June. Commissioners fired Bean from her job as the county government's top executive after castigating her for months for what they called weak leadership and poor decisionmaking.

Board members specifically cited 1 percent pay raises she gave herself and other top officials in 2007 without commissioners' approval as reason to fire her with cause and deny her full severance. As a result, Bean departed with $191,737 before taxes for unused sick and vacation pay instead of the $455,000 in severance she could have gotten under terms of her contract.

Her demand for unspecified additional money follows the conclusion of a law enforcement investigation that found Bean's pay raise demonstrated poor judgment but was not criminal. To deny Bean full severance, commissioners had to find that she committed a felony, a crime of moral turpitude or another illegal act for personal gain — and they cited the last provision as their justification.

Under county policies, she may be able to seek legal expenses she incurred during the criminal investigation, in addition to severance.

Commissioner Mark Sharpe, Bean's harshest critic, said she may have a claim for legal expenses, but nothing else. He said the pay raise violated the county's charter, which gives commissioners sole authority to set the administrator's salary.

"I don't think we owe her a cent, and I mean that," he said.

Other commissioners, however, expressed a desire to get the episode behind them. The county has a new administrator, Mike Merrill, who is reorganizing the government in the face of declining revenue, and that should be the commission's focus right now, they said.

"From my perspective, I don't think we need to dwell on this," said Commissioner Victor Crist, who was elected in November after Bean's dismissal. He said the commission needs to figure out what she wants and determine what it thinks is reasonable and move on.

Bill Varian can be reached at (813) 226-3387 or

Hillsborough commissioners will explore ex-county administrator's money demand 04/20/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 20, 2011 11:53pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Watch live: President Trump's speech to the U.N. General Assembly


    UNITED NATIONS — U.S. President Donald Trump and French leader Emmanuel Macron are expected to take the spotlight at the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations — but it's the tough global challenges from the nuclear threat in North Korea and the plight of Myanmar's minority Muslims to the …

    President Donald Trump shakes hands with French President Emmanuel Macron during a meeting at the Palace Hotel during the United Nations General Assembly, Monday, Sept. 18, 2017, in New York. [Associated Press]
  2. Police seek suspect in attack on elderly woman in St. Petersburg (w/video)


    ST. PETERSBURG — Police are seeking the public's help in finding a woman they say violently attacked a 69-year-old woman earlier this month.

  3. Photo of the Day for September 19, 2017 - Great Egret with green mating coloration

    Human Interest

    Today's Photo of the Day comes from Barbara Motter of Weeki Wachee, FL.

  4. 20 local museums are offering free admission or deals Saturday for Free Museum Day

    Visual Arts

    For all the community's support of the arts in the bay area, it's nice to be rewarded with free admission once in a while. And that's exactly what many area museums are offering on Saturday.

    The Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg is among the museums participating in the Smithsonian's Museum Day Live, offering free admission. (LANCE ROTHSTEIN   |  Special to the Times)
  5. Cubs bring some other ex-Rays to Trop such as Wade Davis, Ben Zobrist


    Joe Maddon's first trip back to the Trop is getting most of the headlines tonight, but there are several other familiar faces among the eight former Rays now wearing Cubs uniforms.