Local News

Feb 25, 2014 5:10 PM by Andrew Ellison - aellison@kristv.com

City Manager Explains Deal that Pays Cotroneo $20,000

CORPUS CHRISTI - City Officials explained a deal today that paid Roxann Cotroneo $20,000 even though she never worked a single day for the city.

She was hired as the new city attorney, but withdrew her acceptance of the job after an investigation revealed she made inappropriate comments to her staff.

Today, City Manager Ron Olson said the deal was basically made to avoid litigation. In other words, the city was afraid Cotroneo would sue.

As part of a mutual release agreement between the two parties, Cotroneo gets $20,000 in exchange for not filing any kind of complaint, petition, or lawsuit against the city.

The agreement also says the city and Cotroneo will not make negative comments about each other, and that Cotroneo will not discuss the release with the media.

Olson says $20,000 would be a little over one month's salary for Cotroneo. He maintains that this move saved taxpayers money.

"If a lawsuit were filed, we would spend that much money in a heartbeat just responding to the first volley of lawsuits. So, this eliminates any possibility of future action and it is the least expensive way to deal with this issue there is," Olson says.

That $20,000 figure does not include any possible reimbursement Cotroneo might put in for. Things like moving expenses and such.

We have asked the city if Cotroneo has put in for anything like that and if so, how much, but we have not gotten an answer.

» There are multiple updates to this story. Please click here to get the latest information.

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