Three weeks after showing its senior center director the door, the City of Verona formally accepted her resignation Monday.
Unlike other recent high-profile incidents in which it cut ties with staff, this settlement with Mary Hanson did not contain a payout beyond accrued leave and this month’s standard benefits. The resignation agreement, which the Common Council accepted unanimously after a 10-minute closed session, ends her employment May 14 and promises not to fight any unemployment claims until at least July 15.
Hanson, who had been the director for five years, told the Press on April 25 her resignation three days earlier was not by choice. It came about six months after she signed a performance improvement plan and nearly a year after a Verona Police Department investigation found claims of theft alleged by another employee were unfounded. Her performance plan mostly referred to dealings with personnel.
Her resignation was the second from a high-profile employee in three months. When the city asked its administrator to step down after 2 ½ years in February, it paid six months’ salary and benefits.
Others prompted by the city in recent years have involved similar payouts.
In 2017, police officer Matt Morris was paid for nearly six months after going on leave and then resigning amid an investigation into his actions on the job. Police officers and firefighters are the only public employees in Wisconsin represented by unions with full collective bargaining abilities.
In 2011, city clerk Judy Masarik was given eight weeks’ severance after failing to meet her performance improvement plan on the heels of a highly public mistake during the 2011 state supreme court election recount, and in 2009, city administrator Shawn Murphy was paid for six months after his ouster. Each had been here about three years.
Monday, Chad Kemp thanked Hanson for her contributions over her five years here and also mentioned the “extremely effective” work of interim city administrator Adam Sayre and human resources coordinator Mitch Weckerly.
“It’s difficult when you have to let an employee go,” he said.
Sayre and Weckerly have been working on recruiting for the position, and the city’s application deadline is May 19. The job carries a salary range of $58,137-$72,801.