Ex-finance director says resignation forced

January 18, 2004|LIZ MAPLES

Danville's former Finance Director Steve Winfrey claims he was pushed to resign in November.

In an e-mail to the newspaper, Winfrey wrote that he was told he could either resign or be terminated, despite never having received a negative evaluation.

Interim City Manager Bridgette Milby said that all she could say was that she had a letter of resignation from Winfrey, and that she was hesitant to comment further in case there was a lawsuit.

Milby took the stand last year when firefighter Steve King sued the city, saying he was unfairly passed up for a promotion.


Winfrey wrote that the city's 2003 audit would have problems because Milby didn't replace the book keeper when she retired in March. Instead, the duties were split between Milby, Winfrey and City Clerk Donna Groves.

Milby has told commissioners that the audit would have some problems, but she declined to comment about it. She said that the audit was the official opinion of the auditor and that she couldn't speak for him.

Craig Butler, the city's auditor, was out of town Friday and couldn't be reached for comment. The audit is expected to be released in late February.

Winfrey said he urged Milby to hire another bookkeeper, but she didn't until the end of August.

"That decision proved not to be in the best interests of Danville as many of the duties were not kept up on a timely basis," Winfrey wrote.

Milby said that Winfrey's duties were reorganized to include the bookkeeping responsibilities.

"There were things that Steve (Winfrey) was supposed to do that were not done," she said.

But, she said those things would come out in the audit.

"I want to assure the citizens of Danville that their money is being accounted for and we are taking care of things that need to be taken care of," she said.

Winfrey said that after he refused to resign he was offered "severance pay and other concessions to resign."

Not so, said Milby.

She said that Winfrey received two weeks of vacation pay, that she waived his two-week notice period and that she agreed not to contest unemployment. But, that is not a severance package, she said.

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