Temecula City Manager Fired

City Attorney Peter Thorson made the announcement Tuesday and after the meeting declined to comment about the firing.

In a 3-0 vote, the Temecula City Council fired City Manager Robert Johnson Tuesday night.

The vote came behind closed doors, in the closed-session portion of the regularly scheduled city council meeting, and no information regarding the reason for termination is being released.

City Attorney Peter Thorson made the announcement Tuesday and after the meeting declined to comment about the firing. 

City Councilmen Jeff Comerchero and Ron Roberts were absent during Tuesday night’s meeting.

When asked about Temecula Chief Financial Officer Genie Wilson, who was placed on administrative leave earlier this month with Johnson, Thorson declined comment.

There was no mention of Wilson Tuesday night.

Thorson told Patch last week that actions against Johnson and Wilson are based on "differences in management philosophy and goals."

City employee Aaron Adams was officially appointed Tuesday to serve as acting city manager; no fill-in has been named to serve as chief financial officer.

As part of his four-year employment contract agreed to in Sept. 2011 and commenced on Jan. 1, 2012, Johnson received an annual salary of $215,000 and $11,000 a year in deferred compensation for a savings plan, according to the city documents.

Under his employment contract, which was officially terminated Tuesday night, Johnson is entitled to receive a severance payment equal to six months’ salary, as well as insurance benefits during the six months following his firing.

However, if termination is the result of being charged or convicted of a felony, or engaging in corrupt or willful misconduct in office, Johnson’s severance benefits will not be paid, according to city documents.

Wilson's annual salary as of 2010 was $180,466, including benefits, according to the latest public salary information available from the California State Controller’s website.

According to city documents, her role with the city encompassed overseeing various administrative services including human resources, strategic budgeting and operations, support services, information technology, and accounting and purchasing.

Chester November 28, 2012 at 10:59 PM
Here is what started the whole fiasco, POS unions! Although City Hall has remained mum on the move, the president of Teamsters Local 911, which represents 110 Temecula City Hall employees, in a recent interview painted a picture of a hostile work environment that caused employees to dread going to work.
GD November 29, 2012 at 01:48 AM
If it was illicit wrongdoings, Johnson would have the protection of whistleblower laws. If *he* broke the law, there would be charges forthcoming and he can't collect severance. This story isn't clear as to whether he actually is getting the severance pay or not. If he collects it, we may never really hear anything about why, per state privacy laws. If he doesn't, it will become an ongoing court story, but it may be a while before the information is out. See some of the things that have happened in San Bernardino county. Months and years to charge public officials. Law enforcement has to have the time to gather what it needs, and the public's right to know cannot outweigh its right to justice. You don't want to screw up a case by saying too much too soon. There's also a story today about the Y building, with the city's due diligence not being complete. I wonder if there's any connection between that and this action?
wolfcreek November 29, 2012 at 04:37 AM
I guess the City Council will do the right thing and donate their salaries and benefits towards paying off the disgraced City Manager to prevent US the taxpayers from footing the bill. It is only the fair thing since we do not know why the City Manager was CANNED.
Fat Cat Temecula December 02, 2012 at 02:28 AM
Fat Cat Temecula December 02, 2012 at 02:31 AM
Something smells a little fish with the firing of Bob Johnson... was this a plan to bring Shaun the old city manager. They don't seem to be making good decisions with our Temecula money...


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