The Gadsden County Commission has fired administrator Dee Jackson and placed her on a 30-day leave. The decision came down in a 3-2 vote Tuesday night. At issue are overtime payments the commission twice approved for salaried and non-salaried employees who worked during Hurricane Michael.
Commissioners were apparently upset that Jackson was among the salaried employees eligible for payments.
Commissioner Gene Morgan raised the issue once again Tuesday. Initially, the conversation was supposed to only be about Jackson’s contract.
Commission Chairman Anthony Viegbesie and Brenda Holt voted against firing Jackson. Morgan, along with Commissioners Sherri Taylor and Eric Hinson voted for the termination and to place Jackson on administrative leave immediately.
Jackson became Gadsden’s first female administrator in December. She was fired without cause, and her contact allows her to receive severance pay equivalent to five months of her $100,000 a year salary, along with benefits and a percentage of sick leave and vacation. Former Gadsden administrator Arthur Lawson will serve as interim. He’s not interested in the permanent job.
Jackson is a Gadsden County native and graduate of Florida A&M University. She was previously the interim administrator and also worked as a grant writer for the County Commission. During her brief tenure leading the county, it reported it's first balanced budget in six years.