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Marks leaves with more than $80k in severance

Possible conflict between employment agreement, resignation
By: Steve Archer, Reporter
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Former Lincoln Police Chief Rex Marks received nearly $85,000 in severance payments after resigning from city employment July 1, according to a severance payment itemization given to The News Messenger Tuesday by Lincoln City Manager Matt Brower.

Marks resigned July 1, following an independent investigation into concerns brought to Brower by the Lincoln Peace Officers Association. Neither the concerns, nor the findings of the investigation, have been made public by Brower.

Also, when The News Messenger asked Brower for the severance package on July 5, Brower instead gave the newspaper a copy of Marks’ employment agreement.

The severance package received by Marks included three months salary and accrued vacation and sick leave as well as an additional three months of vacation and sick leave, according to information received from Brower.

However, clause (f) in the employment agreement for Marks – under the heading Termination of Employment and Service – indicates the “Employee shall not be entitled to Severance if Employee voluntarily resigns.”

And, under clause (d), of the same section, the employment agreement indicates that “in the event the City Manager terminates Employee’s employment without cause, the City shall pay the Employee an amount equal to three (3) months aggregate salary and benefits (“Severance”). Severance shall be paid to Employee, less withholdings, in a lump sum upon termination.

The employment agreement was signed by Marks and former City Manager Jim Estep. Marks’ base salary was $138,371 per year.

Severance payments made to Marks, which covers three months salary and benefits, includes:

  • Three months salary at $37,412.13.
  • Payout, accrued vacation plus three months at $18,593.83.
  • Payout, accrued sick leave plus three months at $21,472.41.
  • Payout, health benefits at $4,817.76.
  • Phone allowance at $300.
  • Vehicle allowance at $1,620.
  • Uniform allowance at $450.
  • Total before withholding taxes at $84,666.13.

On the itemization document, the severance period was from July 1 to October 1. The rate per hour was $71.95. Health benefits included medical, dental, vision and life insurance.

Also, Brower said Tuesday night that he has interviewed candidates for interim police chief and one has been selected to start probably next week. The interim chief will be named once a background check is completed.

Sgt. Brent Craft has been the acting chief since Marks’ resignation.

And, according to reports published in the Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch of July 26, 2006, Marks was placed on paid administrative leave while the police chief of Hopewell, Va.  According to the 2006 Times-Dispatch report, Hopewell City Manager Alan K. Archer placed the city’s embattled chief of police, Rex Marks, on paid administrative leave in what appears to be a the prelude to Marks’ negotiated termination. Marks resigned as chief of the Hopewell Police Department in July 2006.

According to an Aug. 10, 2007 report in The Hopewell News, the Hopewell City Council voted to fire Marks while there were issues with the Hopewell Police Department’s evidence room and while the department was under state and federal investigation.

Calls to Marks, since his resignation, have not been returned.