'Golden parachute' for former finance director, courtesy of St. Charles taxpayers

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by Craig Cheatham

KMOV.com

Posted on November 10, 2010 at 10:03 AM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 4:52 AM

(KMOV) -- St. Charles Mayor Patti York calls it a "good deal" for taxpayers, but the severance agreement given to former city Finance Director Karen McDermott could be worth up to $85,000 more than McDermott was entitled to receive as part of her contract. The agreement gives McDermott, who earned a salary of $116,000, a lump payment of $220,000, which includes her unused sick time and vacation days, and about 17 months of pay, three months more than required by her contract. 

In addition, she received a year of medical insurance benefits, which could be worth almost $20,000. Her attorney will be paid nearly $20,000 and McDermott gets $15,795 as a tax free lump sum payment. The legal bill says a lot. Attorneys, even highly paid lawyers, would take a while to bill the amount of hours needed to rack up a $20,000 bill, which means this deal took some work, and quite a bit of time. Although McDermott's resignation seemed sudden, the deal didn't happen overnight.

We may never know the entire story of why she left, but according to city councilwoman Laurie Feldman, McDermott disagreed with the way some of the city's new $1.7 million dollar software conversion was being implemented. Is that why she left? No one will say. The agreement requires all sides to not comment on anything connected to McDermott's decision to leave her job as city Finance Director.

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