Fontana’s former manager didn’t work a single day last year. So why did the city pay him nearly $1 million?
The City of Fontana has some explaining to do.
Last week, the State Controller’s Office released public payment data for the year 2020. What immediately jumped off the page was a stunning $932,623 paid to former City Manager Ken Hunt ... during a year in which he performed no work.
Hunt officially retired in 2019 — or as Mayor Acquanetta Warren has stated, he “resigned to retire.” It was later revealed that he had entered into a settlement with the city, but the details were scant.
It’s not uncommon for cities to pay their managers for the remainder of their contract. Hunt’s contract stipulated he’d receive 12 months’ base pay plus benefits. Fontana went even further, however, paying him for all of 2020 as well. He received $312,865 in “settlement pay," $476,772 in leave payoff, and another $64,137 for "longevity." Ultimately, Hunt took home $1,127,378, which is almost equivalent to three years of his 2019 wages.
Even more troubling than the large sum is the lack of transparency surrounding it, as the Daily Bulletin reports:
“It’s unclear when exactly the City Council approved the settlement agreement. The city’s spokesperson was unable to provide the meeting minutes, the meeting date or a vote tally of the agreement before the holiday weekend. The agendas in the two months immediately prior to Hunt’s sudden exit did not seem to show any applicable closed session items."
Read more about the mysterious payment to Ken Hunt and the lack of transparency here.