City pays Paris $205,288 severance, will not release final pay for Hasselmann

UPDATE 5:51 p.m.: The city has released the severance package for Elaney Hasselmann, the former public information director.

Hasselmann’s severance totals $32,746.65, according to City Clerk Myra Heard. The breakdown included four months’ salary worth $25,808.56, 84.9 hours of annual leave worth $3,650.49 and four months of health insurance worth $3,287.60.

The city also paid Hasselmann $2,579.85 for 60 hours worked from June 9 to June 18.

SALISBURY — Former City Manager Doug Paris received a severance package worth more than $200,000 after City Council terminated his contract.

The city released Paris’ final compensation today, one week after he left his job by mutual agreement with City Council.

However, the city would not release final compensation paid to Elaney Hasselmann, the city’s former public information director. Hasselmann quit June 18, the day after Paris and City Council members had a five-hour closed session, then said they agreed to part ways.

City Clerk Myra Heard, who is serving as acting communications director, said because Hasselmann resigned, her final compensation is not public record.

Amanda Martin, attorney for the N.C. Press Association, disagreed.

“No, there is nothing about a resignation that would change your access to salary information,” Martin said in an email. “You have a right to that.”

The final compensation document for Paris categorizes his departure as a resignation as well, using the words “resignation effective June 18, 2014.”

Paris’ severance package totals $205,288.65. The city calculated Paris’ hours at an hourly pay of $69.23.

The severance includes:

• One year salary, $135,000

• Payout for holiday and leave hours of $70,288.65, including 303.28 annual leave hours, 629.50 sick leave hours and 82.50 paid holiday hours.

• Health insurance for one year. The city did not assign a value.

Paris also received regular pay, subject to retirement, of $4,153.85 for eight days from June 9 to June 18 equaling 60 hours. The city’s total payout to Paris, including the regular pay and severance, was $209,442.50.

Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.

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