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Merrimack Valley

June 20, 2013

$40K buyout package plus paid vacation for solicitor

McQuillan on Methuen payroll until June 30


Upon being removed from the city payroll, McQuillan will then receive a lesser buyout package of $40,501.51.

Ultimately, McQuillan will be paid an extra $2,072.74 by staying on the city payroll for one extra month. The extension allowed him to earn his full vacation and longevity benefits this year as opposed to an 11-month prorated benefit.

Whether McQuillan’s extra month on the payroll will delay Kopelman and Paige from providing legal services for the city remained unclear yesterday.

The City Council voted in late May to hire the firm at a rate of $175 per hour, but the move is contingent on a $33,000 budget transfer. Earlier this month, Mayor Stephen Zanni informed Fountain in a memo that he will not authorize the transfer until he receives a “formal, signed notice from the Council that Peter McQuillan is no longer under the employ of the city.”

McQuillan’s separation of employment from the city will not occur until June 30, according to a “payroll/personnel change” form obtained by The Eagle-Tribune. The form was signed on Monday by McQuillan, Fountain and Zanni and on Friday by City Auditor Thomas Kelly.

City officials said last week they could not take McQuillan off the payroll until they received the signed form.

Last week, Fountain provided The Eagle-Tribune with an agreement dated May 31 that specifies McQuillan’s “attorney-client relationship” with the city of Methuen ended at 4:30 p.m. on May 31.

But Zanni said yesterday that the May 31 agreement was not enough to remove McQuillan from the payroll.

“That agreement didn’t mean anything, really,” said Zanni. “This should have been resolved a long time ago.”

Attempts to reach Fountain and McQuillan for comment yesterday were unsuccessful.

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