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Friday, June 27, 2014
City Manager Vitas out, signs 'separation' deal for $120K payoff

City Manager Bob Vitas agreed to leave Key West's top job Friday in exchange for $120,000 in severance that amounts to 18 weeks of his $180,000 annual salary, plus an additional $28,000 in unused leave and sick days and $21,211 to reimburse his contributions to the retirement plan.

"With any separation agreement there are costs involved," said City Commissioner Mark Rossi, who helped negotiate the contract along with City Attorney Shawn Smith.

The two-page contract, released Friday afternoon, is signed only by Vitas so far and awaits approval by the city commission.

Commissioners meet at 9 a.m. Monday at Old City Hall with an agenda that includes voting on the Vitas deal and also decide what to do with Assistant City Manager David Fernandez's contract to become utilities director for $114,000 a year.

Several commissioners said they want to invalidate the deal.

That contract with Fernandez set off a storm of criticism from Smith and commissioners who declared Vitas struck the deal in violation of city policy that requires the legal department to review all contracts.

Vitas side-stepped the city attorney's office in making the deal with Fernandez June 11.

gfilosa@keysnews.com

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