Town Releases Separation Agreements, No Additional Documents Released

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MTT News's picture
Kevin Murphy

MIDDLETON–Former town of Middleton Administrator David Shaw last month resigned and released the town from all claims stemming from his employment as town treasurer in agreements that provided him with six months’ severance pay.

Former town Deputy Treasurer Patricia Keichinger entered into similar agreements with the town which offered her three months’ severance pay.

Shaw and Keichinger each signed a resignation agreement and a separation agreement on Oct. 23. The former employees acknowledged that the releases they offered, and the consideration provided were not given in connection with “an exit incentive or other employment termination program.”

However, the severance payments provided for in the separation agreements were contingent on each of the former employees signing their resignation agreement.

The town board has declined to discuss the reasons for their simultaneous departures.

Efforts to contact Shaw and Keichinger to date have been unsuccessful.

The agreements included a confidentiality clause in which the parties would not publicize or disclose their existence unless required by law. The agreements were obtained last week in response to an Open Records request by the Times Tribune. However, Open Records requests for performance reviews and disciplinary action against Shaw and Keichinger were not supplied to the newspaper.

Shaw had been the town’s administrator/clerk/treasurer beginning in 2006 after serving on the town board. 

Keichinger was hired in 2007 and as deputy treasurer helped prepare town budgets and perform other financial tasks.

During last April’s annual town meeting, residents revoked a 2004 arrangement that combined the town clerk and town treasurer positions. Within a month, Shaw resigned as town clerk but continued as town administrator and town treasurer.

Lisa Pardon was hired as town clerk/deputy administrator.

According to the Separation Agreements both former employees signed:

Shaw is to receive his $1,663 weekly salary from the town until April 27, 2019. On an annualized basis that amounts to $86,500 after rounding up.

Keichinger is to receive her $1,030 weekly salary until Jan. 25, 2019. On an annualized basis and after rounding that amounts to $53.560

In addition, the town will pay $37,760 to Shaw, minus standard deductions, for sick leave, personal leave, floating holiday and vacation leave. The will be made in a lump sum within 30 days of the expiration of Shawl’s right to revoke which lapses seven days after signing the agreement.

Keichinger is to be paid $6,051 under the same terms Shaw accepted.

The agreement goes into effect after the revocation period expires. If Shaw or Keichinger revokes their agreements, those agreements become null and void, and the former employee agrees to return any money paid to them pursuant to the agreement.

Both former employees can choose to continue under the town’s group health insurance if they pay the monthly premium. If Keichinger and Shaw continue coverage under the town’s group insurance plan, the town will reimburse the two former employees on Jan. 31, 2019 for such premiums at the same rate it reimburses eligible current employees.

Keichinger and Shaw each agreed not to reapply for employment with the town.

The town board has appointed Robin Meier interim Town Administrator. She has said she would serve in that position until the board hired a new administrator.

Last week, the board was in the process of scheduling interviews with four applicants.

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