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Arlington manager asked to step down

Former Arlington County Manager Michael B. Brown did not resign voluntarily, said Jay Fisette, chairman of the county board, in a statement Wednesday night to the Arlington Democratic Committee.

A controversy has been brewing since reports that Brown -- who began the Arlington job in early May -- turned in his resignation Thursday. He was given a nearly $125,000 severance package, which includes unused leave and other payments.

"I understand that some clarity is required regarding the severance payment to our former County Manager Michael Brown," Fisette said. "The county board takes our fiscal responsibility very seriously. When the board determined that Mr. Brown's fit with our organization was not what we hoped for, Mr. Brown was given the opportunity to submit an official resignation letter. His severance payment was fully consistent with the terms of his contract and was not discretionary. This is a standard provision for city and county managers."

Fisette went on to say that "there was no one issue or one decision" by Brown that led the board to ask for his resignation.

Brown wrote in his resignation letter, dated Sept. 30, "The action is regrettable but necessary because of the health of my wife, Linda Lee. I need to take time now to assist her. That is proving difficult because of the work and time demands of the position of county manager."

According to the Savannah Morning News, Brown receives an annual pension of $99,350 from his 15 years of service as city manager in that Georgia city. He also was given $55,651 for unused leave during his time in Savannah.

City officials in Savannah said Brown is not being considered as a candidate for his old job, according to the report.

Brown did not return a call for comment.

On Friday, the Arlington County Board appointed Barbara Donnellan, a 27-year Arlington county employee, to be the county's first female county manager.

-- Christy Goodman

By Eric Athas  | October 6, 2010; 9:28 PM ET
Categories:  Arlington County  
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