Archive for Thursday, December 9, 2004

City settles with former employee

December 9, 2004

November of this year would have marked the fifth year Mike Hooper worked as a Basehor city employee. Instead, the month brought an official end to his ties with the city and eliminated any possibility of a return.

On Nov. 16, attorneys representing the city of Basehor and Hooper, a former city codes administrator, reached a settlement agreement that resolves the former employee's appeal filed shortly after his dismissal in July.

Hooper will receive $12,500 as part of the settlement agreement. The agreement includes a provision that both parties -- Hooper and the city -- agree does "not constitute and should not be interpreted as an admission of fault on the part of any party."

The agreement also contains a confidentiality clause that prohibits either Hooper, his attorney, Pat Henderson, or Basehor city officials from commenting on the settlement or Hooper's employment with the city.

For four years, Hooper was a vocal leader in Basehor city government and its de facto city administrator.

During his tenure, Hooper helped usher in a 9-cents-per-square-foot excise tax, a neighborhood revitalization plan, advised the Basehor City Council and oversaw the Basehor Planning Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals.

Many of those responsibilities were outside the realm of his city codes administrator duties and took place before the city hired its first full-time city administrator, David Fuqua, in March.

Hooper was fired in July. He told The Sentinel a written statement indicating he "hadn't performed his managerial duties in a professional manner as expected" was read to him as a reason for the dismissal.

Hooper was given a choice of resigning with two weeks severance pay as compensation or being fired, he said. He chose the latter and appealed the city's decision almost immediately.

The settlement agreement indicates Hooper "will not apply for and will not be eligible for employment with Basehor in any capacity."

It also states he cannot file further complaints or claims against the city with any local, state or federal courts, agencies or tribunals.

The settlement stems "from the desire of the parties to resolve this case and any pending or potential disputes" and that the city has "denied, continues to deny and will forever deny any liability unto Hooper."

Although both sides agreed to the confidentiality section of the settlement, the document was released to The Sentinel by the city after both sides agreed.

The newspaper also made a written request for the document under the Kansas Open Records Act.

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