Rockport to pay former manager $52,000 after resignation

Posted Feb. 19, 2013, at 2:53 p.m.
Last modified Feb. 19, 2013, at 8 p.m.

ROCKPORT, Maine — Former Town Manager Robert Peabody Jr. will be paid a severance package totaling $52,836.

The severance agreement was released Tuesday afternoon by the town after a Freedom of Access request was filed by the Bangor Daily News.

Peabody officially resigned Feb. 14, according to paperwork provided by the town. He had been on paid leave since Jan. 29 after a series of closed-door meetings concerning an unspecified personnel matter.

The Select Board held meetings in executive session during the past two months after two town department heads filed a complaint with Select Board Chairman William Chapman. The department heads hired attorney John Richardson of Brunswick to represent them.

The nature of the complaint has not been released and is not mentioned in the severance agreement. The agreement calls for Peabody to not make disparaging remarks about the town and for town officials to not make disparaging remarks about Peabody for the next two years.

The agreement calls for Peabody to receive 12 weeks’ pay along with unused sick and vacation time. He was being paid $92,706 per year in addition to health insurance.

Peabody also waives any right to complaints or grievances against the town.

Peabody has been town manager in Rockport since 2004. Upon his hiring, Selectman Geoffrey Parker said Peabody’s strength was his vision and maturity and that he was a straight shooter who would help end the perception in town of secret dealings.

Peabody also agreed to cooperate in facilitating a smooth transition in regard to his successor as town manager. The Select Board has scheduled a meeting for 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Rockport Opera House to appoint an interim town manager.

Former Camden Town Manager and current Knox County Commissioner Roger Moody of Camden said he was approached by the town and has agreed to be appointed interim manager on a part-time basis until a new manager is hired.

As specified under the town charter, Town Clerk Linda Greenlaw has been interim town manager since Peabody went on leave. Chapman said when the vacancy is for longer than 60 days, selectmen appoint an interim manager.

Peabody also agreed to turn over town property such as the town credit card, town-issued laptop computer, and installed software and accessories.

The town will not contest Peabody’s application if he seeks unemployment compensation.

The town also waived claims against him other than any third-party complaints.

Peabody signed the agreement Thursday. Chapman signed it Tuesday.

A telephone message left for Peabody on Tuesday was not immediately returned.

Peabody served three three-year terms on the City Council and was its mayor for three one-year terms, the last being in 1997-98.

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