Knox County Commission approves retirement deal for departing auditor [The Knoxville News-Sentinel, Tenn.]
(Knoxville News-Sentinel (TN) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Aug. 27--KNOXVILLE -- Knox County Commission approved Monday a retirement package worth at least $30,000 for departing internal auditor Richard Walls.
The vote came without comment from the elected members whose appointed audit committee recommended firing Walls in July.
Commission instead chose to offer Walls the buyout after Chairman Tony Norman negotiated the deal. In the package, Walls will retire Sept. 3, with a payout based on accrued sick leave and remaining vacation, with insurance coverage through March 31, 2015.
Walls was unavailable for comment.
Scrutiny of the auditor's office will continue after Walls leaves. Commissioners have said they will review how the office should operate, including future audits.
"We can have county employees do it," Commissioner Dave Wright said. "Or we can have a contractor do it."
Joe Carcello, chairman of the audit committee, is expected to speak in September's commission meeting and answer questions about how the decision was made.
In other business, commission approved a resolution for a new pension plan for uniformed employees.
Called the Sheriff's Total Accumulation Retirement Plan, or STAR, it will replace the Uniformed Officers Pension Plan, or UOPP, that Knox County voters elected to close in 2012. The UOPP will still cover the nearly 800 people vested in it.
The new plan spares the county from having to pay into a fund that's market-driven. Instead, a constant percentage-of-payroll payment will be made. Knox County will pay a 10 percent base contribution to STAR, with a 6 percent employee match.
More details as they develop online and in Tuesday's News Sentinel.
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