The Altus city council held a special meeting Friday afternoon with the intent to appoint a new Acting City Manager. The executive session item was to discuss the employment, hiring, and appointment of the position.
After 45 minutes, council returned from executive session with no votes being taken. Council then appointed Larry Shelton of Norman as the new Acting City Manager. Shelton has been involved with local governments for 32 years. He served as the Chickasha City Manager from August 1991 to June 2011.
This action was a result of the Jan. 14 termination of former City Manager David Fuqua. Upon Fuqua’s termination, City Attorney Catherine Coke was appointed as the Acting City Manager until a replacement could be found.
Fuqua was hired as City Manager May 19, 2015. Fuqua’s employment agreement with the City of Altus base salary was $130,000 for the effective period of the agreement. Upon his termination he received a severance package per his employment agreement. Total pay for Fuqua’s eight months of employment is estimated to be between $80,000-$90,000, which includes 13 percent of retirement, insurance and benefits. This total does not include costs such as the consultants fee for hiring Fuqua.
In a press release earlier this week, Coke stated that Fuqua was terminated by the City of Altus for the good of the City, and not ‘for cause’ as previously reported. Coke said that the use of the phrase ‘for cause’ was not what was meant, as the City Council could terminate him at any time, for no specific reason.
“This miscommunication, as you may imagine, paints the picture that he did something illegal or criminal,” said Coke. “He was not fired ‘for cause.’”
Reach Mary O. Esparza at 580-482-1221 ext.2077