Former county HR director to get another month's pay

Former Moffat County Human Resources Director Tom Skelding will continue to receive salary and benefits for another month beyond the effective date of his resignation, according to documents obtained by the Daily Press.

Skelding, who earned $56,000 annually in his position over two years with Moffat County, is to be paid "as though still employed" at a regular schedule while also retaining county employees' medical and dental coverage through May 21, according to a "resignation agreement and general release" signed and dated April 23.

The payments will include three checks totaling just over $4,800, according to the county's human resources department.

Skelding, in return, agreed not to bring lawsuits against the county, nor reveal "confidential information" without the county's written consent.

"Each situation is handled on its own merits," Commissioner Les Hampton said regarding how common the agreements are for departing county employees.

Hampton -- citing personnel issues -- declined to comment on specific merits in Skelding's case.

"Tom served the county well and we wanted to be fair by him," Hampton said. " He brought value to the position."

Skelding Thursday declined to comment on the agreement, as did Commissioner Darryl Steele.

The deal was signed two days after Moffat County Commissioners unanimously voted to accept his resignation. Steele motioned to accept the move following an executive session requested by Skelding at the April 21 commissioners meeting for a personnel matter.

Skelding's performance and his department came under scrutiny hours after Steele was sworn in as commissioner Jan. 14. Steele motioned to eliminate Skelding's position for cost savings, while at the same time proposing that the human resources assistant run the department.

The proposal was rejected by a 2-1 vote, with commissioners Marianna Raftopoulos and Hampton opposed.

Steele and Skelding clashed at another public meeting over whether a countywide hiring and firing policy is needed.

County commissioners say a consistent hiring policy is needed to avoid costly lawsuits.

Prior to his resignation, Skelding had

been preparing paperwork bringing the county into compliance with the Equal Opportunity

Employer Act.

A federal grant for emergency management was delayed because the county had no documentation specifying its status as an equal opportunity employer. The county was awarded the grant on a condition that the paperwork be finished by a May 15 deadline.

Paul Shockley can be reached at 824-7031 or at pshockley@craigdailypress.com.

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