The city of College Park said it terminated employment with Natasha Hampton, who was set to become city manager, due to discrepancies in information she provided to the city.
The College Park City Council unanimously terminated Hampton three days before she was scheduled to start. Hampton issued a statement on June 28 speculating her termination could be related to her involvement in a confidential Equal Employment Opportunity Commission settlement with her previous employer in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. The city “unequivocally” denied this in a Thursday news release.
Staff from Baker Tilly, the city’s consultant for city manager recruitment, and city representatives discussed these discrepancies directly with Hampton and her attorney at that time. Ultimately, the city decided these issues justified termination, according to the release.
In a statement provided to The Diamondback, Hampton wrote that having an idea of what led to her termination was a start, but she did not know exactly what discrepancies the city referenced in its statement. When Baker Tilly contacted Hampton after contract execution, the company specifically inquired about the settlement with her former employer, she wrote in the statement.
“What makes this really difficult is to think what I believed to be a protected action, is seemingly adversely impacting me,” Hampton wrote.
The city intended to end the employment relationship “amicably” and offered Hampton a settlement in writing, but Hampton rejected that offer, leading to her termination by a formal vote, according to the news release.
“The council regrets that this is the direction that events have taken, and that this was not resolved through private negotiation,” the city said in the release. The city is currently processing Hampton’s Freedom of Information Act request.
Hampton wrote that she is looking forward to Tuesday’s city council meeting and the release of public records, which could continue the “transparency, accountability and accuracy of information College [P]ark residents deserve.”