While details of the separation agreement between the Leesburg Town Council and former town attorney Barbara Notar have been withheld from public release, a memo in the council’s agenda packet sheds some light on the compensation.
The memo points to a state code provision that requires a local governing body to publicly announce the severance benefits provided to any departing official appointed by that governing body, prior to that official’s departure. The town attorney is one of only two positions, the other being the town manager, that the council has the sole authority to appoint or terminate.
Notar was relieved of her town attorney duties by a vote at the council’s Feb. 11 meeting, following a chaotic few weeks spurred by a Letter to the Editor, penned by three council members, bringing her annual evaluation to the public light. The letter, authored by Mayor Kelly Burk, Vice Mayor Marty Martinez and Councilman Neil Steinberg, accused their four council colleagues of a coordinated effort to terminate Notar, alleging they were dissatisfied with her handlings of the Graydon Manor project and the town-county boundary line adjustment process. The other four have disputed those claims, and chastised their colleagues for bringing a personnel matter into the public sphere.
According to the memo, Notar, who had served as town attorney since 2015, will receive nine months’ salary, at a total of $113,957, and benefits. It lists her departure date as March 2. When asked via a Freedom of Information Act request why the departure date is weeks after the separation agreement was approved, the staff declined to answer, citing the confidential agreement.
On Monday night, during the council’s bimonthly work session, council members are expected to discuss the process for finding Notar’s replacement. Martin Crim has been appointed by the council to serve as interim town attorney until a new hire is made.