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Dismissed LGC Chief could get $189,000 in severance

Maura Carroll (center), the executive director of the Local Government Center, sits in the back row of a hearing where State Securities Regulators question the LGC's pricing on services at the Bureau of Securities Regulation in Concord on Tuesday, October 4, 2011. 
(Andrea Morales/ Monitor Staff)

Maura Carroll (center), the executive director of the Local Government Center, sits in the back row of a hearing where State Securities Regulators question the LGC's pricing on services at the Bureau of Securities Regulation in Concord on Tuesday, October 4, 2011. (Andrea Morales/ Monitor Staff)

The recently dismissed head of the Local Government Center could receive at least a year’s salary, $189,200, as part of her severance package, according to her contract released yesterday.

Maura Carroll of Concord is also entitled to payment of unused vacation time and compensation for job-related expenses incurred before her departure. The amount of money Carroll will be paid for those things or any other benefits was not available yesterday because Carroll has not yet signed a release required by the LGC.

Carroll’s $189,200 payment could be reduced if she takes a new job within a year of signing the severance agreement. The contract says the LGC “shall be entitled to” reduce Carroll’s severance pay by the amount of her new salary. It’s a more modest package than Carroll’s predecessor, John Andrews, received.

When Andrews retired, he was promised $20,000 a year, for five years, for ongoing consulting work. But the contract did not require him to do any work, and he never performed any consulting. The state Bureau of Securities Regulation challenged that contract, and Andrews was forced to repay the third year’s money and to forgo the $40,000 he was to collect over the next two years.

The Monitor filed a Right to Know request for Carroll’s contract and severance package on Feb. 1 after the LGC board of directors announced it wanted new leadership and had asked Carroll to step down as the organization’s executive director. Yesterday, the LGC provided the Monitor a copy of Carroll’s contract but also posted it on its website, at nhlgc.org, along with a message from new interim director George Bald.

Bald’s employment contract was also posted. It says he will be paid $90,000 for his six-month term as the interim director.

Carroll worked for the LGC, a municipal insurance provider, for 25 years, initially as a lobbyist. She took over as director in 2009. While Carroll inherited an organization already under scrutiny for alleged wrongdoing in its business practices and corporate structure, those battles intensified during her tenure.

This summer, the state ordered the LGC to return $52 million in insurance overpayments to the cities, towns and schools it insures. The LGC was also ordered to change operating procedures and become more transparent.

The LGC appealed the repayment order and is disputing how much it must return to its members.

The LGC board did not give a specific reason for asking Carroll to resign, saying only that it wanted new leadership as it tried to resolve its disputes with the state.

As part of her employment contract, Carroll cannot accept a job with a “competing business” for two years. The contract defines a competing business as any entity that provides municipalities or the state access to legislative lobbying, financial services or pooled-coverage plans, which is what the LGC provided its members.

Carroll has not commented publicly on her departure.

In his letter of introduction to LGC members yesterday, Bald said he has spent his first days on the job meeting with legislators, outside organizations and critics “in an effort to learn from others and open a dialogue with those folks with whom we need to be working.”

That’s a job Bald knows well. He served twice as commissioner of the state Department of Resources and Economic Development and enjoyed a good working relationship with state leaders and state officials.

Bald told LGC members he’d be in touch with them, too.

“I have much work to do, and I want to move quickly to get us on a path forward,” he wrote. “I would like to start by offering to meet with you to hear your thoughts on how we can improve our operations and offerings.”

(Annmarie Timmins can be reached at 369-3323, atimmins@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @annmarietimmins.)

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