Council approves settlement with Talkington


Council approves settlement with Talkington

By Kierra Frazier

DeKALB — Former Interim City Manager Molly Talkington will continue to be paid her normal bi-weekly salary, despite Talkington filing a complaint against the city.

City Council agreed on a settlement Monday night between the city of DeKalb and Talkington.

Talkington started as the finance director in September 2017 and became the interim city manager in late May until she was put on paid administrative leave in November.

City Council made the decision to place Talkington on paid leave following the city’s review of certain financial transactions, budget calculations and financial forecasts, according to the Jan. 14 City Council agenda.

After being put on paid leave, Talkington put in a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging certain misconduct and harassment by the city.

The city denied the claims filed by Talkington.

The city determined a separation agreement would be the most cost-effective way to go about resolving the situation instead of pursuing Talkington’s claims.

Before the settlement was voted upon, Mayor Jerry Smith thanked the new City Manager Bill Nicklas for his work in handling the issue.

“My only comment is, I would hope Council would agree with me, that this is a very transparent undertaking,” Smith said. “I commend our new city manager in not only putting the finishing touches along with Dean Frieders on this agreement, but to share this in a way which is complete transparency.”

The settlement includes Talkington being paid of $4,995.55 bi-weekly, until July 7, and all payroll deductions and withholdings are considered outside of this payment. Talkington will also remain on the city’s group health and dental insurance plan until then.

Talkington left her position with a total of 118.158 hours of unused vacation time, totaling $7,161.91, and after accepting the agreement, will be issued that money on her next paycheck, according to the agenda.

City Manager Bill Nicklas said he wanted to make it clear what this settlement means.

“It should be pointed out that this is a severance. Talkington will no longer be in a position of authority with the city of DeKalb,” Nicklas said. “Talkington agrees to voluntarily withdraw her charges of discrimination and has acknowledged that she does not wish to pursue those charges any further.”