COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — Embattled Columbus Police Chief Freddie Blackmon received a severance agreement from Mayor Skip Henderson.
Under the Georgia Open Records act, WRBL obtained a copy of the four-page agreement Friday afternoon.
Henderson says he offered Blackmon the letter on March 15 — the day after Blackmon presented a strategic plan for the department to the council.
The following is offered in the agreement:
- He will receive a lump sum of $250,000 dollars. It is to be paid within 30 days of a signed agreement.
- He will maintain insurance benefits until May 31, 2030 – the next seven years.
- He will be paid for all accrued but unused vacation and overtime pay.
- He is eligible for participation pursuant to the terms of the pension plan.
- Employee represents that he has not and agrees that he will not file any claims, lawsuits, or charges concerning his employment with CCG.
Chief Blackmon has not returned calls from WRBL this week.
Henderson was asked if this offer situation could drag out.
“I don’t know that it’s going to drag out,” he said. “I think what my understanding was when he presented that strategic plan that there would be an opportunity to implement that plan. And then as he begins to implement that plan, there will be some benchmarks. And there will be some expectations. And we will be monitoring how successful some of these plans are.”
Henderson was asked if there would be a move to terminate Blackmon if he did not accept the offer.
“You would have to ask the council,” he said. “I don’t know.”
Friday morning, WRBL sent the following questions to all 10 city councilors in a joint text string:
- When did council approve the contents of that severance package?
- Was it done during a vote or “poll” during an executive session?
- Do you support Chief Blackmon remaining as police chief?
None of the councilors responded to the questions.
Thus far, no councilor has been willing to go on the record, citing a personnel matter and executive session privilege.
To terminate a department head such as the police chief, it would take seven votes from city council if the mayor does not recommend the action. If it is recommended by the mayor, it takes a simple majority of six.
Council is scheduled to meet Tuesday evening at the City Services Center.