Brookhaven City Council has voted unanimously to suspend City Manager Marie Garrett. The vote was taken during an emergency called special meeting at 2:30 p.m. Jan. 12. The council scheduled a special called meeting on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. and will vote on whether to fire Garrett.
Brookhaven Police Chief Gary Yandura was named interim city manager by newly elected Mayor John Ernst. Yandura took the post immediately.
“This is a special called for special circumstances to discuss the employment of city management and protect integrity of the city, said Mayor Ernst before the vote was taken.
After the vote was taken, Ernst asked Garrett to turn in her office access card key and said, “Ms. Garrett, thank you very much.”
After a work session following the special called meeting, Ernst declined to comment further than his statement.
“The city honors its obligations. Unfortunately the contract negotiated by previous administrations is ambiguous and does not allow the city to know what its duties are,” Ernst said in his statement about Garrett.
“While working toward an orderly transition we have become mired in conflict over the terms and conditions of that agreement. The responsible thing to do is to have a third party resolve these disputes. We wish Marie Garrett well,” he said.
Garrett was appointed in 2013 as the city’s first city manager.
Her annual salary was $214,000. When she was hired, it was put into her contract that if she was fired without cause she would a severance package equal to nine months of her salary.
Prior to the appointment, she served as Brookhaven’s interim city manager for three months, the city’s web page says.
Garrett has more than 30 years of experience launching and running city governments, including working as a top-level administrator in Alpharetta, Canton, Johns Creek and Brookhaven, the city said. Garrett also has advised other metro area cities on planning, development, public administration and budgeting. She also has worked with governments in Texas and Oklahoma.