May 26, 2018
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Former Dexter town manager’s separation agreement includes six months salary

Alex Barber | BDN
Alex Barber | BDN
Linda-Jean Briggs
By Mike Lange, Piscataquis Observer

DEXTER, Maine — The Dexter Town Council agreed to pay departing Town Manager Linda-Jean Briggs six months salary plus the cash equivalent of any accrued vacation and sick time, according to the separation agreement obtained by the Piscataquis Observer.

Briggs agreed to resign as of Oct. 25 and both sides agreed that they would not “communicate anything defamatory or disparaging about each other to any third party or entity, including to current and former employees or Council members of the town of Dexter, unless the communication is made necessary by Maine law or is required by a court order.”

Briggs’ salary at her time of departure was $63,000 a year.

The agreement also stated that neither party “shall issue or make any public comment regarding employee’s departure or resignation that is not consistent with the joint statement, unless required to do so by Maine law or court order.”

If Briggs chooses to apply for unemployment benefits, the town of Dexter “will not contest such application.” However, the agreement “acknowledges that the town makes no representation or promise that she is eligible or will receive such benefits, nor is the town required to assist employee in obtaining such benefits beyond responding to statutory inquiry.”

The agreement also states that both parties concur “that this agreement was based on a mutual desire to amicably terminate a contractual employment relationship.”

The document also has a confidentiality clause which states, in part, that both parties agree that “they will keep the substance and terms of this agreement, and all negotiations leading it to, strictly confidential … except the parties may otherwise disclose the actual agreement if compelled or required by law to do so.”

However, at the Nov. 21 council meeting, Chairman Peter Haskell said that anyone who wanted details of Briggs’ agreement should file a Freedom of Access request. The document was provided to the Piscataquis Observer a few days later after making such a request.

The town council will consider an ordinance at its Dec. 12 meeting authorizing payment of $47,888 from the unreserved fund balance to the following accounts: $39,675.38 to administration department head wages; $2,377 employee benefits health insurance; $2,618 to employee benefits deferred compensation; $2,607 to employee benefits FICA expense; and $609 to employee benefits Medicare expense.

Briggs’ salary at her time of departure was $63,000 a year.

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