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Big payday awaits exiled Hillsborough County administrator

Six of seven Hillsborough County commissioners have said on the record that it's now time for Administrator Pat Bean to go.

Still, she remains — figuratively anyway. She's wiling away her time at home, doing 90 days of paid leave while investigators look into pay raises she allegedly gave herself and others, as well as her e-mail trolling habits.

Lawyers are negotiating terms of her departure, but haven't reached a resolution, and commissioners can't agree on how to force the matter.

The stalemate can be explained with several numbers. Bean's contract requires a sizable payout if she's fired without cause. Most commissioners are loathe to pay it, and are seeking an out. They will take up the matter again Wednesday. Jim Norman, long Bean's most loyal ally, has said he will provide the potentially decisive vote to fire her if a severance deal isn't reached.

Here are some of the numbers at play in the Bean stalemate:

64 Bean's age.

33 Years with Hillsborough County government.

7 Years as administrator.

$224,120 Annual salary.

$454,425 Amount due Bean if she is fired without cause under terms of her contract. This includes a year of salary and benefits, payment for unused vacation leave and 50 percent of unused sick leave.

$0 Amount Bean is owed if she is fired with cause, which includes committing a felony, crime of moral turpitude or any illegal act involving personal gain related to her employment.

Besides salary, here are some of the other major figures in that sum:

$94,382 Sick leave pay

$96,559 Vacation pay

$14,792 Deferred compensation.

$4,201 Cafeteria benefit, a stipend that county employees can put toward health care or other expenses.

3 Number of commissioners — Mark Sharpe, Rose Ferlita and Ken Hagan — who say the 1 percent pay raise Bean gave herself (and suspended County Attorney Renee Lee) in 2007 allows them to fire her for cause.

2 Number of commissioners (Kevin Beckner and Al Higginbotham) who aren't as sure and want to wait until the Florida Department of Law Enforcement concludes its investigation to see if it gives them a stronger case to fire her for cause.

$5,809 Amount Bean refunded the county when she rescinded her 1 percent pay raise

$49,585 Amount Bean has collected on suspension through June 5. Beckner, for one, has said he might consider paying Bean her severance in return for her resignation — if she discounted it by the amount she has been paid while on leave. Her suspension ends June 21.

$12,673 The county's bill so far for outside attorneys advising commissioners how to deal with Bean, Lee and another matter, through June 7. The tab will likely grow as negotiations continue over the terms of Bean's departure.

$391,042 Additional amount Bean gets through a state retirement incentive program if she quits or is fired Wednesday. She entered the state's Deferred Retirement Option Program a little more than three years ago. It lets employees set a retirement date but stay in their jobs for up to five years. During those five years, money that would have gone to the employee's pension is put into a trust. It can be collected in a lump sum on top of regular pension payments when he or shes leave.

$599,356 Amount Bean would get on Dec. 31, 2011, through DROP for completing her five years in the program.

$8,660 Starting monthly pension payment if Bean quits or is fired Wednesday.

$9,188 Starting monthly pension payment if she remains employed through her contract end date in 2011.

Sources: Hillsborough County Human Resources, Florida Department of Management Services.

Big payday awaits exiled Hillsborough County administrator 06/13/10 [Last modified: Sunday, June 13, 2010 1:35pm]

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