CITY HALL -- Here is the text of the termination agreement with Norton Bonaparte, Jr. It was approved last night on a 5-3 vote, with John Alcala, Sylvia Ortiz and Bob Archer voting 'no.'
THIS AGREEMENT entered into this 7th day of April, 2011, by and between the City of Topeka, a duly organized municipal corporation hereinafter referred to as the "City", and Norton N. Bonaparte, Jr., hereinafter referred to as “Employee.”
WHEREAS, on February 15, 2006, the City entered into Contract No. 36119 with Employee to serve as City Manager of the City of Topeka for an indefinite term pursuant to Sections A2-51 and A2-53 of the Topeka Municipal Code (Code) (Employment Contract); and
WHEREAS, such Employment Contract provides that Employee’s employment is “at will”; and
WHEREAS, Section A2-53 of the Code provides that the City Manager shall serve at the pleasure of the City Council; and
WHEREAS, the parties agree that it is in the best interest of the parties that Employee’s service to the City comes to an end; and
WHEREAS, the parties desire to resolve amicably all issues arising out of the separation from employment;
NOW, THEREFORE, IN CONSIDERATION OF THE MUTUAL COVENANTS CONTAINED HEREIN THE PARTIES AGREE AS FOLLOWS:
Section 1. Separation from Employment Employee’s employment with the City shall end on July 1, 2011, provided that a majority of the members of the City Council take action, at a duly authorized public meeting, to approve this Agreement on or before April 8, 2011.
Section 2. Compensation and Severance Until July 1, 2011, Employee shall receive all compensation and benefits provided pursuant to the Employment Contract. On July 1, 2011, City shall pay Employee severance as a lump sum in the amount of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000.00) plus any accrued vacation leave, less applicable withholding for federal and state income taxes and any other mandatory deduction. Employee shall not be compensated for any unused sick leave, nor the severance as contemplated in Section 9 of the Employment Contract.
Section 3. Continuation of Duties Employee agrees to continue to perform the duties of City Manager until July 1, 2011, as outlined in the Employment Contract, the Governing Charter of the City of Topeka, and Kansas law including but not limited to preparation of the City Manager’s Budget Proposal for 2012 pursuant to City Code. City acknowledges the continuing duty to provide legal representation to Employee pursuant to all applicable state and federal laws, City Code Chapter 3.35, and Section 13 of the Employment Contract.
Section 4. Retention of Property Employee agrees to return any and all City property in his possession to the Office of the City Manager no later than 5:00 p.m. Friday, July 1, 2011.
Section 5. Release of Liability The parties hereto mutually, unconditionally and irrevocably release, waive, and forever discharge each other from any and all causes of action, claims and damages, including attorney’s fees, whether known or unknown, foreseen or unforeseen, or otherwise arising through the date of this Agreement concerning Employee’s employment or separation from employment. This release by Employee is made on his own behalf and on behalf of his heirs, executors, administrators, attorneys, and assigns, and includes, but is not limited to: (a) any payments, benefits or damages arising under any federal law, (including but not limited to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Family and Medical Leave Act, each as amended); (b) any claim arising under any state or local laws, ordinances or regulations; and (c) any claim arising under any common law principle or public policy, including but not limited to all suits in tort or contract such as wrongful termination, defamation, emotional distress, or invasion of privacy.
Employee understands that, by signing this Agreement, he is waiving any right to monetary recovery or individual relief should any federal, state or local agency (including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) pursue any claim on his behalf arising out of or related to his employment or separation from employment. Employee further agrees, without any reservation whatsoever, never to initiate legal action against City, its employees, or elected officials or become a party to a lawsuit on the basis of any and all claims of the type described herein arising out of or related to the terms of his employment or separation from employment.
Section 6. Acknowledgement Employee represents that he has carefully read and fully understands all provisions of this Agreement, that he is competent to execute this Agreement, that his decision to execute this Agreement has not been obtained by any duress and that he freely and voluntarily enters into it.
Section 7. Kansas Open Records Act (KORA) The parties acknowledge that this agreement is a public record and subject to disclosure under the KORA.
Section 8. Severability If any provision of this Agreement shall be held to be invalid or unenforceable for any reason, the remaining provisions shall continue to be valid and enforceable. If a court finds that any provision of this Agreement is invalid or unenforceable, but that by limiting such provision it would become valid and enforceable, then such provision shall be deemed to be written, construed, and enforced as so limited.
Section 9. Entire Agreement This Agreement constitutes the entire agreement of the parties and supersedes any and all prior oral or written agreements between the parties. Neither party shall rely upon any verbal representations, either express or implied, not specifically stated herein. This Agreement shall not be amended, modified, or assigned except by written agreement of both parties.
Section 10. Choice of Law The parties agree that this Agreement is governed by, subject to, and construed according to the laws of the State of Kansas. Any action relating to the validity, construction, interpretation and enforcement of this Agreement shall be filed in Shawnee County, Kansas.
Section 11. Binding Effect This Agreement shall be binding upon the City, its employees, representatives, and elected officials and Employee, his heirs, administrators, representatives, attorneys, and executors.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties have hereto executed this Agreement as of the day and year first above written.