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DeKalb to pay $166K in separation pay to 3 building department employees

Published: Tuesday, July 1, 2014 4:55 p.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, July 1, 2014 10:29 p.m. CDT

DeKALB – A third building department employee who resigned from his DeKalb position received $26,000 in accrued time off and a lump sum payment as part of a separation agreement between him and the city.

Roger Votaw, a former building inspector, received $13,160 for 347 hours of accrued vacation and sick time at the rate of $37.925 an hour, according a separation agreement the city released Tuesday in response to a Freedom of Information Act request from the Daily Chronicle.

Votaw also will receive $12,841 in severance pay, which is equivalent to 45 days of compensation and longevity pay at normal rates. Votaw and City Manager Anne Marie Gaura signed the agreement May 30, but Votaw remained on the payroll with benefits until June 16.

City Attorney Dean Frieders said Votaw was employed by the city for less than 10 years.

Votaw's separation agreement brings the total amount the city spent to sever ties with three building department employees to more than $166,000. On June 23, DeKalb aldermen unanimously approved separation agreements with building supervisor Kent “Lou” Larson and building inspector Dave Reynolds. Larson received $82,834 while Reynolds received $57,929.

Council members did not have to approve Votaw's agreement because the payout of accumulated paid time off was agreed to as a condition of his employment, Frieders said.

"The only thing outside of that is the severance payment and that was within the city manager's spending authority," Frieders said.

Gaura can approve expenditures up to $20,000 without council approval.

Votaw, Larson and Reynolds were placed on paid administrative leave in May after city officials decided to explore outsourcing of building department duties.

The city in late May entered into a contract with SAFEbuilt Illinois to temporarily provide building and permit inspections. The budget for fiscal 2015, which started Tuesday, includes plans for the city to outsource building and permit inspections and hire two part-time property maintenance inspectors.

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