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Friday, 30 December 2016 03:07

Rob Johnson resigns as Menifee's City manager, the 5th City Manager in 8 Years Featured

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Rob Johnson is finally out as the Menifee city manager, a position he has served since February 2014. Menifee Buzz learnt of the resignation as publicly announced on Tuesday following a 2 1/2-hour closed session by the City Council.

Johnson started as an interim City Manager in November 2012 and served as the longest interim manager or permanent chief in the Menifee city administrators’ position since its inception in 1st October 2008. His predecessor, Bill Rawlings had also served longer previously, and his tenure lasted for 21 months. Early on, Menifee Buzz sources learnt that Rob Johnson would be fired.

In his written statement released to the media, Neil Winter, the newly elected City mayor indicated that the city council voted 4-0 for Johnson’s resignation. However, besides Johnson, John Denver, the Councilman did not attend the Tuesday’s session leading to the announcement.

“This (resignation) will be effective on the approval of a separation document,” Neil said. He further said that the Menifee City Council "has voted unanimously to accept the city manager's decision to resign." He hinted that the council would prepare a press release and other documents that explain all factors to be reviewed and available for the next council meeting presentation. The next meeting to discuss the change in leadership will be held on 4th Jan 2017 starting 7:00 p.m. in the Menifee City Hall, 29714 Haun Road.

The public document reveals that Johnson’s gross salary exceeded a total of $261,000. His tenure has four years remaining on his contract extension that was signed in October 2015. Terms of agreements in the public document show that Rob received a 5 % salary increment starting 1st July 2015 and 6 % increment commencing 1st July 2016. The report states that if Rob’s tenure is terminated, "or is deemed to have terminated," then he is entitled to "six months’ salary as severance together with all accumulated administrative leave, vacation and sick leave at his highest full salary earned during his tenure with the City." The six months’ base salary total to $91,000.

The document further revealed that the council had discussed their alternatives to get a new manager who is qualified for this position. Jeff Wyman, the city’s Economic Development Director, and Interim Community Development Director will temporarily act as the Manager till the new manager is appointed. Wyman did not comment on the results of the Tuesday meeting citing reasons that he needed time to hold a meeting with the city attorney and the city staff members before he would discuss his new roles.

Recently, Johnson had been under employee review by the City Council as a result of the check that he signed worth $12,400, which was meant to pay for the former mayor Scott Mann attendance to a leadership seminar organized to take place at Harvard. The signing of the check happened without the knowledge of the City Council, and thus attracted criticism upon its unraveling by the members of the City Council.

Scott has been caught in many controversial cases. One of the cases that are alleged to have been part of is the misappropriation of campaign funds. The case resulted in Mann losing his election bid, which later led to him being fined $60,000 by the Fair Political Practices Commission. Due to the pressure around him, Mann stepped down after the election and Neil Winter became the new City Mayor for Menifee. The investigations that were conducted to find out the criminal activities leveled against Mann have not been successful from the County District Attorney side yet.

Johnson had risen from a standard staff position in the City Council to the City interim manager after the firing of Bill Rawlings where Mann was elected as the mayor. The circumstance that led to the plan of firing Johnson is still not totally clear to the public. More reports received by Menifee Buzz have indicated that some members of the City Council had shown displeasure with the performance of Rob Johnson as a manager. Some of the complaining members also issued threats to leave their offices, or some have quit already.











Read 11172 times Last modified on Friday, 30 December 2016 04:01
Menifee Buzz Staff