Port Orange city manager allowed to retire after billing mix-up that cost city millions



Port Orange city manager Ken Parker wrote a memo taking full responsibility for a billing fiasco that cost the city about $2 million, but he's now the latest employee set to retire without facing any consequences for the debacle.

Channel 9's Lori Brown asked the mayor why no one has been reprimanded or fired in the mix-up.

Port Orange Mayor Allen Green told Channel 9 Parker should be held accountable, but overall, it would cost too much.

"One screw up wipes out 100 atta-boys. He just wiped out 1,000," said Green.

Parker's retiring comes after he agreed to let the city's CFO walk away with a special agreement that allowed him to cash in on a bigger pension payment.

And, Parker also allowed suspended Customer Service Manager Betty Barnhart to take early retirement.

"Is any person being held accountable for this?" Channel 9 asked Green.

"Verbally. John Shelley, did he screw up? Yes. Betty Barnhart, did she screw up? Yes. Other people below it? Yes, yes, yes. Are they being held accountable? People are leaving," said Green.

 Parker was city manager when thousands of Sensus meters were not recording any water usage, despite a whole lot of water usage. And no one noticed for years.

Parker took full responsibility in his four-page memo. In it, he writes, "I should have," 11 times.

But council members probably won't fire him because of his contract.

Channel 9 learned if he were fired, the city would have to pay him six months of severance. But they won't have to pay that if Parker is allowed to retire at the end of the month.

"Bottom line, why should Ken Parker not be fired? In my opinion, serves no purpose," said Green.