Scottsdale City Council Tuesday, May 3 unanimously agreed to resolve a settlement disagreement with former city manager Fritz Behring who was relieved of his duties in March after a nine-month medical leave.
During the May 3 city council meeting, the council passed — in unison with 12 other consent agenda items — the payment of $55,000 to Mr. Behring who reportedly alleged he is due a severance pay.
“The claim arises from his contention that the city was obligated to pay him the severance payment provided for in paragraph 8 of his contract,” said Scottsdale Communications and Public Affairs Director Kelly Corsette in a May 4 e-mail.
Mr. Corsette says the paragraph in his contact states he should be paid six months pay, “unless a super majority of five (5) members of the council vote and find, in this sole discretion that Behring should be terminated for failure to properly carry out his duties or responsibilities or that Behring’s acts or omissions cast serious doubt on his fitness or ability to serve.”
The council referenced these findings when they terminated Mr. Behring’s employment March 1. Councilwoman Virginia Korte made a motion that Mr. Behring “is unfortunately in a position where he is failing to properly carry out his duties and that there is serious doubt that he is now able to serve as city manager.”
The motion carried 7/0, city council records show.
Mr. Behring collapsed during a June city council meeting after suffering from a stroke, which is believed to be connected to an unidentified surgery conducted in 2013, Independent records show.
The agreed upon amount was a negotiated compromise, according to Mr. Corsette. If Mr. Behring was to receive a severance payment, it would have been in the amount of $105,580.80 — or half of his annual pay.
City documents state funding for Mr. Behring’s payment is available in the risk management operating budget for the non-compensation portion of the settlement, and the compensation portion will come from the City Manager’s budget.