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Cincinnati Council Won't Be Involved In Employee Settlement Agreements

city hall
Bill Rinehart

An effort to involve Cincinnati Council in settlement agreements for more than $100,000 between the city and departing employees has failed.  
Council member David Mann made the proposal after former city manager Harry Black signed a $400,000 separation agreement with former assistant police chief Dave Bailey.

"It strikes me as beyond the pale that that kind of money could be committed without any involvement of Council," Mann said. "This ordinance and then the next one simply say if the settlement is $100,000 or more, Council's going to be involved. It's public money, and there should be a vote."

The measure passed with six votes in favor and two against.  But since it would make changes to the city's administrative code it required seven affirmative votes.  

Mayor John Cranley urged a no vote.

"This I believe will make it harder to manage the city and will ultimately cost significantly more money to the taxpayers," Cranley said. "And will cause huge problems for attorney/client privilege and for settlement negotiations on dozens of potential cases in a way that will ultimately cost more money to the city."

Dave Bailey's departure last March came after Black said there was a "small, fringe element" in the police department committed to disrupting what's good about the agency.

Bailey resigned from his position, but he's on paid administrative leave and continues to receive pay and benefits until he's eligible to retire.

Black's decision concerning Bailey was one of the factors Mayor John Cranley cited when asking Black to resign or be fired last year.  The two battled for about a month until Black resigned in April just minutes before city council was set to vote on beginning the process to fire him.