Antioch Council settles with former public works director over wrongful termination

By Allen D. Payton

At the beginning of the April 11, 2023 Antioch City Council meeting, City Attorney Thomas L. Smith reported out from Closed Session that on motion by Councilman Mike Barbanica and seconded by Councilwoman Lori Ogorchock the city council on a 3-2 vote authorized a settlement and severance with former Public Works Director and City Engineer John Samuelson. He will be paid $144,714.44 and a settlement of $100,000 for a total of $244,714.44. Councilwoman Monica Wilson voted yes, while Mayor Lamar Thorpe and Mayor Pro Tem Tamisha Torres-Walker voted no.

As previously reported, Samuelson was terminated on December 16, 2022 by City Manager Con Johnson. While he didn’t sue the City he threatened to do so for wrongful termination if they didn’t agree to settle with him.

When reached for comment Samuelson said, “Just grateful that council approved it and ready to move on to working with Pittsburg.” He is now that city’s Public Works Director-City Engineer.

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