Pension deal set for Port Orange leader behind water billing mistake



PORT ORANGE, Fla. - WFTV learned the man in charge during a major water billing mistake in Port Orange could walk away with a pretty pension deal.

John Shelley and the customer service manager were suspended in October when an employee discovered the city had made huge billing errors that cost the city an estimated $1.5 million.

But Channel 9's Lori Brown found out the city manager could be giving Shelley special treatment, which could cost taxpayers extra money.

Port Orange resident Ted Noftall is upset that his tax dollars are set to pay an extra $20,000 a year to the city's embattled chief financial officer thanks to the special agreement.

"I sure don't believe we should be rewarding him further, given the turmoil here in the city," said Noftall.

Following Shelley's suspension, City Manager Ken Parker agreed to allow Shelley to retire instead of being suspended, investigated and possibly fired.

In order to get a bigger pension payment, Shelley needed to reach his 25th anniversary with the city, which would have been on Jan. 11, but his vacation time runs out Dec. 20.

In the agreement, Parker allows Shellley to use his sick time to reach retirement, even though that's typically against city policy.

"It does lead one to question why is everyone bending over backwards to help someone who made some serious errors," said council member Bob Ford.

The city's sick time policy says sick time can be used for two circumstances: Illness or injury.

Ford said he is working to find out if the council can overturn the negotiated agreement, but the city's attorney has not gotten back to him.

Parker declined to talk to WFTV. He is set to retire in February.