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High-Ranking County Employees Get Extra Payouts

The Charlotte Observer's Ames Alexander and April Bethea reveal in this report that County Manager Harry Jones has approved additional compensation for at least five high-ranking employees who resigned from their jobs. This includes the $63,000 settlement for former Mental Health Director Grayce Crockett, who announced her resignation in December after a federal audit found her department mismanaged a housing program for the mentally ill. County officials say payouts to Crockets and others were negotiated to save the cost of defending lawsuits. Also receiving additional money, as the Observer reports: - Janice Allen Jackson, former general manager, $30,000 in negotiated pay. She left in May 2009 for personal reasons. - Brenda Jackson, former deputy director of the Department of Social Services, $28,500 in negotiated compensation. She left in April 2007. Jackson and another DSS worker claimed in a lawsuit they were wrongly forced to leave, but a federal judge dismissed their case. The judge said they didn't have evidence to support their claims. - Frank Ganzlmar, former human resources director. He left in 2007, and received $1,768 in additional benefits coverage. Ganzlmar had been the subject of a lawsuit by two former employees who criticized his behavior on the job. - Jim Pendergraph, former sheriff and current commissioner. He was paid about $11,000 for 18 days of unused vacation when he resigned as sheriff in 2007 to take a federal job. Pendergraph says he never requested the money.