Documents show details of Turlock’s settlement with City Manager

The settlement between the town of Turlock and former city manager Toby Wells was reached last month after the two sides had conflicting opinions as to whether his dismissal was justified or not, according to documents obtained by the newspaper.

Wells was awarded a lump sum of $ 55,000 to be paid by the City in addition to his salary and any accumulated and unused leave payments until June 11. The City will also pay to maintain Wells and his wife’s health and dental insurance until September at a cost of $ 1,953 per month, according to the settlement agreement issued by the City following a request for compensation. public documents of the Journal.

According to the agreement, the City felt it had sufficient grounds to terminate Wells following an investigation, while Wells disagreed that he was subject to termination “for cause. And denied all allegations. The employment contract signed by Wells when he was hired stipulated that if he was fired without cause, the City would have to pay him eight months of severance pay, or more than $ 146,000.

Wells and the city came to an agreement because they wanted to “resolve all issues between them regarding the termination of the employee’s employment (Wells),” the document says, and the settlement includes a list of promises to which the two parties signed their names. One item on the list is that Wells waived his right to a “name laundering” hearing, to which he was initially entitled under his employment contract if he were to be fired without cause.

The settlement agreement was approved by city council in a 3-2 split vote in a closed-door meeting on May 25 after Mayor Amy Bublak, Deputy Mayor Pam Franco and Councilor Rebecka Monez voted in favor of the separation settlement, with board members Andrew Nosrati and Nicole Larson dissenting.

Wells was put on investigative leave Jan. 7 – for which Nosrati and Larson also voted “no” – less than a month after new council members Franco and Monez were sworn in, and neither were the results of the The investigation or the reasoning behind it have not been made public. Larson and Nosrati were on the board that voted 4-1 to endorse Wells as city manager in March 2020, and Bublak was the only dissenting vote at the time.

The Journal also requested the Wells investigative report, but was denied after the city cited exemptions from the California Public Records Act, including attorney-client privilege, attorney-product privilege, and the exemption for confidential staff.

Wells commented on the settlement in an SMS statement to the Journal when the deal was first announced.

“The mutually agreed separation agreement ends my tenure with the town of Turlock. I am very proud of the accomplishments of our Town of Turlock team amid budget constraints, staff shortages and a global pandemic, ”said Wells. “The adoption of Measure A and several new developments will continue to make Turlock a great place to live and do business. “

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