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. Father and brother of alleged bomber detained in Libya


    The father and younger brother of the man who British police say bombed an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester have been detained in Libya, where anti-terror authorities said the brother confessed to knowing "all the details" of the attack plot.

    Hashim Ramadan Abedi appears inside the Tripoli-based Special Deterrent anti-terrorism force unit after his arrest on Tuesday for alleged links to the Islamic State extremist group. Abedi is the brother of Salman Abedi, who has been identified as the man behind the bombing that killed 22 people and wounded scores at an Ariana Grande concert Monday night in Manchester. [Ahmed Bin Salman, Special Deterrent Force via AP]
  2. Marijuana extract Epidiolex helps some kids with epilepsy, study shows


    A medicine made from marijuana, without the stuff that gives a high, cut seizures in kids with a severe form of epilepsy in a study that strengthens the case for more research into pot's possible health benefits.

    An employee checks a plant at LeafLine Labs, a medical marijuana production facility in Cottage Grove, Minn. [Associated Press (2015)]
  3. CBO analysis: 23 million would lose health coverage under House-passed bill


    WASHINGTON — The Republican health care bill that passed the House earlier this month would nearly double the number of Americans without health insurance over the next decade, according to a new analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

    President Donald Trump held a press conference in the Rose Garden at the White House with members of the GOP on May 4 after the House passed legislation to roll back the Affordable Care Act. [Cheriss May | Sipa USA via TNS]
  4. Tarpon Springs psychic charged with defrauding veteran, widow out of $155,000


    TARPON SPRINGS — A psychic was arrested Tuesday after police said she scammed two clients out of more than $150,000.

    Gina Wilson
  5. St. Pete Economic Development Corporation lures marketing firm MXTR to town

    Economic Development

    St. Petersburg Economic Development Corporation has lured its first big catch to St. Petersburg — MXTR Automation. The digital marketing company announced Wednesday that it will fill 20 "high-wage" creative positions within the next 18 months, as well as open an office in downtown St. Petersburg this year.