Portsmouth city manager resigns

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by 13News Team Coverage

WVEC.com

Posted on October 22, 2012 at 5:51 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 24 at 8:23 AM

PORTSMOUTH -- Portsmouth City Manager Ken Chandler has resigned in the wake of criticism for his handling of the employment of former Fire Chief Don Horton.

>The City Council voted 7-0 to accept his resignation, while granting him one more month on the job and one year of severance pay totaling $192,000.

Horton resigned this summer and was receiving a salary under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act. Then Chandler hired him as the Deputy Director of Emergency Management without notifying Council.  The $98,000-a-year position was not in the budget, council members said.

Council heard from Chandler about the issue during Monday night's work session meeting. After that meeting, Mayor Kenneth Wright said the work session was productive and that additional requested information would be reviewed in a closed session at 5:00 p.m. Tuesday.

After that, Wright said a decision would be made.

“Once we get all the information, again this is a process. We have to get all the information. We are a nation of laws and we will follow the process and make sure we have everything we need to make sure to make a good decision as a body," Mayor Wright stated.

Councilman Moody said of Chandler “I find what he has done unacceptable.”

Chandler was expected to offer his resignation Tuesday night, with the stipulations that he would continue working for 30 days and receive one year's pay.

Portsmouth resident James Brady was unhappy with the severance package.

"He should not get that severance pay since he quit. He should be out on his own. The way I look at that's my tax dollars paying for that now and I totally disagree with it."

The assistant city manager is expected to step in while the city searches for a new city manager.

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