TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - The City of Tallahassee announces City Manager Ricardo "Rick" Fernandez will resign effective Wednesday, pending approval by the city commission in a special meeting that afternoon.
In a letter to commissioners Tuesday, Fernandez wrote, "I will not allow myself to be a distraction to the great work of the City. It is clear the current circumstances have become a distraction, and I regret that more than anything. However, we must move on."
The news comes after an internal investigation of allegations against the city manager.
On November 8, the city commission approved paid administrative leave to Fernandez, pending the outcome of a complaint against him filed with the Florida Commission on Ethics.
The City Attorney contracted with an outside law firm to conduct an internal investigation of the allegations against the City Manager and to consider all options including the possibility of a negotiated resignation/retirement of the City Manager.
The City Attorney and the City Manager have negotiated a Resignation Agreement. The main points of the agreement provide:
1. Rick Fernandez will resign effective January 3, 2018.
2. Rick Fernandez will be paid 18 weeks of his current salary for severance pay.
3. Rick Fernandez will be paid prorated deferred compensation for 18 weeks.
4. Rick Fernandez will be entitled to pay out of accrued personal leave and sick leave pay out the same as all other retiring City employees.
5. The Resignation Agreement supersedes all provisions in the City Manager’s current employment agreement. The City and the City Manager release all other claims or potential claims against each other.
6. Rick Fernandez is entitled to all retirement benefits as a retiring employee under the City Retirement System.
7. The cost of severance compensation is approximately $94,000.
Fernandez's resignation letter can be found below: