The Town of Londonderry paid former Finance Director Susan Hickey $64,000 as part of a settlement agreement reached earlier this month after she submitted a letter of resignation on Dec. 1.
Town Manager Kevin Smith confirmed he placed Hickey on administrative leave in November and advised her he was terminating her employment.
Hickey and the Town agreed that her employment relationship with the Town would terminate under mutually agreeable terms and she signed the settlement agreement on Dec. 4.
Hickey was to be paid the lump sum severance payment by Dec. 15, having fully released and settled all claims, charges and the like related to her employment with the Town.
The lump sum payment will be considered severance and Hickey agrees by signing the document that she has no additional right to payment or for payment of healthcare costs under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA), if any are due and owing, which the parties to this agreement deny, the agreement says.
Hickey had 21 days to consider whether or not to execute the agreement and seven days following the execution of the agreement to revoke it.
Once the seven-day period during which Hickey had the opportunity to revoke the agreement passed, Town Manager Kevin Smith released the document.
As part of her release, “Hickey agrees to a full and final release and settlement of all claims, charges and the like related to her employment with the Town, which she had or may now have against the Town.”
In the settlement, Hickey releases and forever discharges the Town on account of any claims for legal or equitable relief of any kind, costs and attorney fees under any state or federal status, and the federal or state constitutions.
As part of the agreement, the Town also fully released and settled all claims and charges related to Hickey’s employment with the Town.
The agreement contains a clause requiring Hickey to fully cooperate in a reasonable fashion with Londonderry in its defense or to participate in any administrative, judicial or other proceeding arising from any charge, complaint or other action that has been or may be filed regarding any action alleged to have occurred while she was employed by the Town.
If Hickey suffers any actual financial harm or loss expending time on Londonderry matters after Dec. 1, she or her attorney are to advise the Town and the Town will consider compensating Hickey for the actual harm or loss at its discretion.
As part of the Town’s release, the Town agrees to fully cooperate with Hickey and her attorneys in her defense, or to participate in any administrative, judicial or other proceeding arising from any charge, complaint or other action that has been or may be filed regarding any action that is alleged to have occurred while Hickey was employed by the Town.
The Town is to defend, save harmless and indemnify Hickey against any tort, professional liability claims or demands or other legal action, whether groundless or otherwise, arising out of the performance of her duties as Director of Finance and Administration. The Town will settle any such claims or suit and pay the amount of any settlement or judgment, including insurance deductibles as provided for in the liability policy of the Town.
Before signing the settlement agreement, Hickey exercised her right to request a public hearing before the Town Council, but withdrew her request on Dec. 1, the day the hearing was scheduled, having reached an agreement with the Town regarding her separation from employment.
The Derry Town Council confirmed Hickey as that Town’s new Chief Financial Officer on Dec. 2.
In 2001, Hickey was hired to lead Londonderry’s Finance Department, most recently as Director of Finance and Administration. Hickey served as Londonderry’s Finance Director starting Jan. 8, 2001. Her annual base salary as of July 1, 2014 was $116,194. Her starting salary in Derry will be $106,000, according to Derry Human Resources Director Larry Budreau.
Derry Town Administrator Galen Stearns said he was aware of the issues between Hickey and her former employer, but he could not see them having any bearing on her hiring or her performance in Derry.
“Her explanation to me was satisfactory,” he told the Nutfield News, sister publication in Derry of the Londonderry Times.
Moving forward, Smith said the Town is in the process of assessing the needs of the Finance Department.
“Currently, the Finance Director’s responsibilities have been delegated to our controller, Doug Smith. That said, we’ll continue to assess the Department over the next few weeks and make a decision on how to proceed forward in the near future,” he wrote in an email.