DAVIE (CBS4) – The Town of Davie has hung out a ‘Help Wanted’ sign for a new Town Administrator.
In a unanimous vote, the Town Council fired Town Administrator Gary Shimun during a meeting Wednesday evening.
After the vote, Police Chief Patrick Lynn escorted Shimun out of Town Hall and collected his keys. On Thursday Shimun was allowed back into the building to pack up his office and say good-bye to his staff, according to the Sun-Sentinel.
Shimun, who was hired four years, will be paid a year’s salary ($177 thousand) and health benefits.
Mayor Judy Paul said the decision to terminate Shimun was heart breaking, but it had to be done because he failed to keep town officials informed on key issues.
The tension between Shimun and the council had been boiling just under the surface for months. Last April, Council Bryan Caletka tried to fire him citing a loss of confidence in Shimun’s abilities. While several other council members agreed that he should be fired, they stopped short of doing so because a generous severance package that was part of his five-year contract with the town. In the end, they placed him on a three-month probation period.
Shimun was hired in November 2006 as a replacement for Chris Kovanes who was fired after it was discovered he had embezzled nearly $500 thousand from the town. He’s currently serving a 12-year prison term.
Fire Chief Joe Montopoli has been named interim town administrator.
In another closely watched item, the council delayed making a decision on buying Arrowhead Golf Course until next month.
Broward County Property Appraiser Lori Parrish, who believes buying the property is a very bad idea because it would cost the town money to run, has threatened a lawsuit if council votes to purchase the land for $4.5 million. Mayor Paul and Councilman Marlon Luis have also said buying the 134 acre course would be a bad idea. However Council members Caletka, Caryl Hattan and Susan Starkey think the town could make a profit by 2013.
The Council will take up the issue again on February 2nd.
Source: The Sun-Sentinel