Former San Marcos City Manager Rick Menchaca. File photo.
By ANDY SEVILLA
The matter of fired San Marcos City Manager Rick Menchaca was put to rest Tuesday night after he signed an agreement with the city.
City Attorney Michael Cosentino said Menchaca signed a waiver and release of claims agreement that were called for by Menchaca’s original employment contract that he signed in April 2008.
Cosentino said the employment contract stated that Menchaca would receive six months of severance pay plus any accrued vacation and sick-leave if he were fired. Menchaca refused to sign any agreement on the night he was fired by a 4-3 vote and instead said he would explore his legal options.
“(Menchaca) ultimately did (Tuesday) what his employment contract called for,” Cosentino said.
Mayor Susan Narvaiz, along with Councilmembers Ryan Thomason, Fred Terry and Chris Jones voted on June 24 to terminate Menchaca’s $170,000-a-year employment. Councilmembers Gaylord Bose, Kim Porterfield, and John Thomaides voted against the firing.
Menchaca will receive a lump-sum payment of $85,000, equivalent to six months of pay. Cosentino said payment is expected by the end of the week. Menchaca also received a net payment of $30,417.52 Tuesday for accrued vacation time and sick-leave, bringing his total settlement to just more than $115,000.
Cosentino and Narvaiz wouldn’t comment further on why Menchaca’s was fired, but both said all documents concerning the dismissal were open as a matter of public record for the residents “to draw their own conclusions.”
Menchaca’s performance evaluation for June 2010 showed that he slightly more than met expectations, though the evaluation also stated that his management style produced a “fear factor” among city staff, leading to low employee morale.
Menchaca became San Marcos’ 17th City Manager on May 1, 2008, after being ousted from Midland, where he served as City Manager between 2000 and 2007.
Menchaca settled out of court with Midland, receiving a payment of $481,000 for his resignation after a falling out with the Midland City Council and police department.
The Midland Reporter-Telegram reported on May 23, 2007, that “Menchaca’s resignation follows criticism from the police association and members of the police command staff who have charged that (Menchaca) had not done enough to eliminate staff shortages and that his management style was too abrasive.”
It was reported that the fallout with Menchaca and the Midland police department came about when Menchaca requested an investigation into alleged misuse of city property. Menchaca sought the investigation after a recorded video by Midland Police Officer Raymond Miller showing a man’s pants falling down while pushing a stalled vehicle was leaked on the Internet.
In Menchaca’s settlement with Midland, he received 16-month salary and benefits, plus accrued vacation time and sick leave. Menchaca also was provided with an $18,500 moving allowance and $20,000 for attorney fees.
The San Marcos City Council also decided Tuesday night to upgrade Assistant City Manager Laurie Moyer’s title to Interim City Manager. Moyer was serving as Acting City Manager since Menchaca’s ouster.
(Editor’s note: This story was first reported Wednesday afternoon on Point/Counterpoint San Marcos, broadcast on SMTX.tv in association with San Marcos Local News.)Email | Print