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Commissioners To Question Jones About Crockett Settlement

Mecklenburg County commissioners plan to press County Manager Harry Jones on his decision to approve a $63,000 legal settlement to former Mental Health Director Grayce Crockett, the Charlotte Observer reports. The discussion will be conducted in private during Tuesday's commission meeting. We know about the settlement because of an Observer report on Wednesday. Deputy County Attorney Tyrone Wade wrote to the Observer that Crockett received $99,329.18 upon her resignation. "This amount was for her vacation and accrued sick time." However, that was only partly true. The amount also included a $63,000 settlement negotiated with Crockett's attorney, and Wade said nothing about it, according to the report. Reporter Ames Alexander continued to press the county for answers after he realized that Crockett couldn't have accrued $99,000-plus in vacation and sick time. She only worked for the county for nine years. He discussed the story Wednesday with WFAE's Mark Rumsey. According to Friday's Observer report, the county manager is only authorized to approve settlements up to $30,000. Anything else must be approved by commissioners. But it's unclear if that policy applies in this case because a lawsuit wasn't filed, and Crockett's attorney says he didn't threaten legal action. Jones previously told the Observer "he made a decision that was in the best financial interest of Mecklenburg County." Crockett resigned in December after a federal audit found her department mismanaged a housing program for the mentally ill.