Apopka's CAO severance pay doubles other cities, despite state law cap



APOPKA, Fla. - WFTV uncovered more details about generous contracts for Apopka city employees.

In Mayor John Land’s final hours in office he gave nine employees 20 weeks of severance pay and the city’s chief administrative officer signed off on those contracts.

Channel 9’s Lori Brown learned Richard Anderson, the city’s CAO, has a deal that provides two times the amount of severance pay the state allows.

The law limits severance pay to 20 weeks, but Anderson’s contract guarantees him 40 weeks.

The contract is legal because he signed it one week before the state’s new law went into effect.

If the city wanted to fire him, it would have to keep paying him $16,000 a month for more than 10 months.

“Totally ridiculous, it’s not the way city government should run,” said former mayoral candidate Gregg Phillips.

Mayor Joe Kilsheimer points out that Anderson’s contract was drawn up under longtime Mayor John Land.

Sanford, Winter Garden and Orange County each offer 20 weeks or less of severance.

Anderson recently recommended a salary range for Kilsheimer, which resulted in a salary of $150,000, which is nearly as much as Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs, who oversees a county with 30 times as many people as Apopka.

Combined, the two administrators’ salaries are about double what other similarly sized cities pay.

Anderson’s contract lasts indefinitely and allows for the mayor to give him a salary increase each year of up to 10 percent without any approval from the City Council.

Anderson has been Apopka’s administrator since 1974.