Metro’s communications department is big—33 employees and a $5.4 million budget for 2023. The regional government also just paid its former director of communications, Neil Simon, severance of $141,000.
That equates to eight months’ salary and benefits and is far more than the three months’ severance his contract called for.
Simon resigned July 27, telling colleagues in an email that “it’s an honor to step aside to make room for another leader who may be a better fit for this department and its unique set of teams.” His payout echoes a City Hall practice of paying top managers more severance than they are contractually due.
Simon, a former television journalist with extensive public relations experience in the public and private sectors, joined Metro last September and lasted just 10 months on the job.
Metro spokesman Nick Christensen declined to answer questions about Simon’s severance. For his part, Simon says he “greatly appreciated the opportunity to work with Metro.”