College Park agrees to pay ex-city manager $139K in severance pay, damages

The city of College Park will pay nearly $140,000 in sewerage pay and damages to recently fired city manager Stanley Hawthorne.

Stanley Hawthorne was on the job as the city manager for just under 10 months, from April 2023 until Jan. 16, 2024, when the College Park City Council abruptly fired him.

Speaking to FOX 5 last week, Hawthorne said he was blindsided as the council voted to remove him from his position.

"We came out of an executive session, and I was greatly surprised," Hawthorne said.

College Park City Manager Stanley Hawthorne was fired during a council meeting on Jan. 16, 2024.

College Park City Manager Stanley Hawthorne was fired during a council meeting on Jan. 16, 2024. (College Park)

The city has not shared any details about what led to Hawthorne's firing.

"There is no cause," Hawthorne said. "My contract is very clear on how I can be terminated for cause."

A spokesperson referred us to the city attorney, Denmark, who declined to comment.

Ex-College Park city manager Stanley Hawthorne's severance package

In a separation agreement obtained by FOX 5, the city agreed to rescind their decision to fire him and allow him to resign his employment instead.

As part of the agreement, the city has agreed to pay Hawthorne $109,846.24 in severance payments.

The city will also pay Hawthorne an additional $30,000 as "additional compensation" as well as more than 434 hours of unused sick, vacation, and holiday pay.

Hawthorne will also have the cost of his health insurance paid by the city for the next six months.

Despite the city firing him, in the agreement, officials agreed to  "provide Hawthorne a positive job reference upon request" for a year after the date of the agreement.

The ex-city manager has agreed not to disparage the city, elected officials, and employees in any manner and vice versa.

Hawthorne's previous city manager position in Connecticut

Before taking the job in College Park, he quit the same role in Bloomfield, Connecticut, after a year and a half.

At the time, he told the website CT Insider that it was driven by a bitter divide in local politics.

"I was never wanting to leave," Hawthorne told the website in 2023. "I took this job for the long term. And I've got very mixed emotions about leaving earlier than I planned. But when you're in a position, such as this, it is not entirely your decision."