Departed Glendale Unified planner gets $27K payout upon departure

A Glendale Unified facilities planner who abruptly resigned last month after roughly seven months on the job got a $27,520 payout upon her departure, according to a settlement agreement released Tuesday by the district.

Margaret Brown was hired in June as administrator of planning, development and facilities and was to play a lead role in executing millions of dollars’ worth of construction projects funded by Measure S, a $270-million school bond passed last year.

Brown resigned Jan. 17 for what Assistant Supt. for Human Resources David Samuelson said were personal reasons, but her severance agreement clearly states that she is “not to apply for or pursue any assignment or employment position with the district at any time.”

Samuelson said the severance agreement is a commonly used tool to make a clean break while protecting the employer from any potential litigation. He declined to comment on whether he would provide a positive recommendation for Brown.

District officials acknowledged last week that they hired Brown even though they knew she had resigned from a similar position at the San Ramon Valley Unified School District in January 2010 amid complaints that she had sexually harassed four male colleagues.

She received $200,000 severance from the Northern California district when she left after five years on the job, according to a lawsuit filed by one of the plaintiffs in July 2010.

The facilities planner was earning $136,726 annually at Glendale Unified, a salary paid for with Measure S funds. Since her arrival in June, she was a visible presence, giving public presentations on overcrowded relief grants and on a planned overhaul of the Hoover High School athletic fields.

District officials have declined to elaborate on what caused Brown’s resignation, but after her departure became public, school board President Joylene Wagner said the working relationship “didn’t work.”

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