The city of Minneapolis isn’t releasing details of former police Chief Janeé Harteau’s severance package as lawyers hammer out the particulars.
“There is no responsive public data at this time,” said Susan Segal, the Minneapolis city attorney, who declined to comment further.
Harteau resigned July 21 under pressure from Mayor Betsy Hodges and council members, a week after a police officer shot and killed Justine Ruszczyk Damond in the alley behind her home in southwest Minneapolis.
The former chief’s term was scheduled to end in January 2019, and Deputy Chief Medaria Arradondo has been nominated to serve the rest of the term.
Council Member John Quincy, chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, said this week the details of Harteau’s resignation are still being negotiated.
A final deal must come before the Ways and Means Committee, which will have its next meeting Aug. 28. If the committee approves it, the agreement will go to the full City Council for approval.
Stacie Christensen, director of the data practices office at the Minnesota Department of Administration, said if there’s a payout to Harteau, that is “likely public,” and if there is a settlement agreement, “that will also be public once it is finalized.”
Minnesota law requires that an agreement “settling any dispute arising out of an employment relationship” be public, but it’s not clear in this case if there’s a “dispute,” Christensen said.
“At a minimum, any money or other fringe benefits the city pays as part of a severance are public,” Christensen said.
Harteau’s employment contract, signed by former Mayor R.T. Rybak in 2012, stipulates that she is eligible to receive payment for accrued vacation and sick leave.
The contract says she will receive a lump-sum payment equal to three months of her salary if she is “removed” from her position, and could receive another three months of salary “at the sole discretion” of the city’s executive committee, since she wasn’t given three months’ notice before she was asked to resign.
According to the city website, Harteau’s salary in 2016 was $169,411.