All five Escambia county commissioners knew that County Attorney Janet Lander was working with former County Administrator George Touart and his attorney on a severance package prior to the Sept. 6. None of them knew the details of that package – according to Lander, she still didn’t have any details worked out.
Board chairman Kevin White says he instructed Lander to approach Touart about retiring. According to Lander, when she discussed it with Touart. Touart said he would talk with Grover Robinson and Mike Whitehead. Lander would tell Young and Valentino.
Young and Valentino said they were agreeable to the idea – but Lander insists she didn’t poll them. Valentino said he still preferred the one week suspension. Grover said he met with Touart and Lander.
It appears they all were upset that the press was calling them about the draft of the severance agreement which they hadn’t seen.
Lander believes Touart jumped the gun and retired/resigned at the Sept. 6 meeting prior to an agreement voted on by the BOCC.
Mike Whitehead seems to change his position from Young, White and Valentino working with Lander to ousting Touart to the correct procedures weren’t followed. He has stated that he agrees Touart needed to go. He has said the he wasn’t in favor Touart being paid any more than what he was entitled to under the his contract.
We have yet to hear Touart’s side of the story.