Terms of Southworth’s resignation

southworthjimIn a six-page Employee Resignation Agreement, former Bishop City Administrator Jim Southworth “voluntarily” resigned, but the agreement says he will be paid $46,352 in severance according to his employment agreement with the City.  That agreement says that in the case of termination without cause, the City shall pay Southworth cash equal to four months pay and four months of health benefits.

Officials have been very closed mouthed about the departure of Southworth only 10 months into his  5-year agreement.  A brief press release said that the Bishop City Council and Southworth announce their “mutual decision to end Jim’s employment….”  The release went on to say that “Council Members and Jim share a relationship of mutual respect and friendship, but circumstances which are not the fault of either party led to this mutual decision.”  Officials declined to explain the “circumstances”.

The Resignation Agreement says that the “City and Southworth have negotiated an early and voluntary termination.” The terms of the agreement say that Southworth’s employment shall terminate on August 8.  The document also says that “Southworth’s termination as City Administrator/ City Clerk shall be deemed a voluntary termination by Southworth by resignation for all purposes.”

The agreement says Southworth will receive $46,352, which is four months pay and health benefits for four months.  The City also agreed not to contest Southworth’s application for unemployment insurance benefits as a result of termination of employment.

Another provision of the Resignation Agreement says that “This Agreement shall in no way be deemed an admission of liability, fault or any other culpable or inappropriate conduct on the part of any party hereto.”  That phrase may be as far as either party goes to explain to the public why they no longer have a City Administrator.  Some have speculated irreconcilable differences of personality.  Neither side will say.

Southworth’s original employment agreement with the City of Bishop says that he made $135,000 per year and that his pay was raised to $139,000 in July.  His agreement also included full benefits, a flexible work schedule and $7,000 to pay for his relocation to Bishop.

Acting City Administrator Keith Caldwell did say that the City initially contracted with Avery and Associates to recruit a city administrator.  Officials said that in December of 2009 the City Council approved the contract with Avery for a City Administrator search and paid $15,000 plus expenses limited to $7,000.  According to that contract, for Avery to now complete a new administrator search, the City would pay expenses only, again not to exceed $7,000. However, officials said that at this time there are no plans to search for a new administrator.

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12 Responses to Terms of Southworth’s resignation

  1. Joann Lijek August 15, 2011 at 4:29 pm #

    You are not eligible for Unemployment if you voluntarily leave a job, unless he was fired he should not be able to get benefits, no matter what the City says or doesn’t say. UI has its own rules.
    The only exceptions are if there intolerable conditions, ie. you are in physical danger, or something similar, then if you can prove you had to quit, you may get benefits.
    I find it interesting that both the City and Southworth believe he is entitled to UI Benefits. Maybe there are different rules for some people?

  2. David August 12, 2011 at 1:29 pm #

    interesting, the City’s press release announcing his hiring was oozing accolades on Mr. Southworth; yet a year later he’s on “medical leave” and now is released from employment with no further explanation? This is quiet intriguing……

  3. bobbie lee swagger August 11, 2011 at 9:50 pm #

    we need to get geraldo on this pronto

  4. J.H. August 11, 2011 at 8:09 pm #

    It makes me sick to think that Caldwell is now taking over a high paying job without any public comment and their refusal to even saying why ? This is our tax dollars being spent without any public consent or input!

  5. Roger August 11, 2011 at 8:21 am #

    As I read the artical, 135,000 per month for 10 months, plus miscellaneous expenses, some where around one million five hundred thousand! For what?

    • Bob Todd August 11, 2011 at 9:23 am #

      Your figures are incorrect. Please read the story again.

      Bob Todd

  6. Lynn August 10, 2011 at 11:43 pm #

    If we are paying him over 42,000 to go away..I think we are entitled to know why. He was hired with public money and the public has the right to know why he’s being returned for a refund.

  7. Huh? August 10, 2011 at 6:02 pm #

    This is very strange…actually, all of this confidential business is bogus. To pay someone so much of the taxpayer money for nothing and to have no explanation is ridiculous. Every single City of Bishop member of the council should be recalled to allow such a move. The taxpayers of the City of Bishop deserve an explanation. If they continue to hide the truth, a public records request should be filed. Then again, they will probably hide behind that as well. No wonder people don’t trust our Local, State, or National Government. Wow….

    • upthecreek August 10, 2011 at 9:10 pm #

      @ Huh

      Great post Glad to see that there are still some people awake to what is happening in our Local, County, State and Federal “Out of control Governments”
      $ure he will retire with a BIG FAT PUBLIC PEN$ION.(BFPF)

      Smells a lot like Mammoth

      • Joann Lijek August 16, 2011 at 3:48 pm #

        Unless he has service credit from a previous gov. job he wasn’t around long enough to become vested, it takes 5 years with PERS.

  8. J.H. August 10, 2011 at 4:07 pm #

    What’s up with all the public secrets ?

  9. upthecreek August 10, 2011 at 3:31 pm #

    “The agreement says Southworth will receive $46,352, which is four months pay and health benefits for four months. The City also agreed not to contest Southworth’s application for unemployment insurance benefits as a result of termination of employment”

    Like I said before Bishop
    watch your tax dollars
    something smells like Mammoth hear…

    More closed sessions


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