When the Greensboro City Council by a 5-4 vote agreed to give former City Manager Tai Jaiyeoba three months of salary and benefits, he had already resigned and was not a city employee.

At that point, giving Jaiyeoba about $100,000 in salary and benefits would have been illegal because in North Carolina governments can only spend public funds for goods and services – gifts are not allowed.  Giving money to someone not for goods or services is called an emolument and the North Carolina Constitution makes emoluments illegal.

So, the city had to have an agreement with private citizen, nonemployee Jaiyeoba in order to continue to pay him for three months after he was no longer working for the city. That agreement spells out what the city receives for the public good and services and what Jaiyeoba gets paid.

The city doesn’t get much for its hundred thousand or so dollars. Jaiyeob,a by signing the document, agrees not to sue the city or say anything bad about the city.

The city, along with paying the $100,000 in cash and benefits, also agrees not to say anything bad about Jaiyeoba and to give him a good job recommendation.

In other words, the city agrees to withhold the truth from prospective employers about the reason Jaiyeoba suddenly resigned.  Of course, prospective employers can always do a Google search to find out the truth.

According to extremely reliable sources, Jaiyeoba stopped coming to work and resigned because the city had evidence that he had been sexually harassing a city employee.

If Jaiyeoba had been fired for cause, he would not have been eligible for severance. It is common in city manager contracts to provide six months or more in severance if the city manager is fired without cause.  Since being Greensboro city manager means working for the nine-member city council and keeping at least five of them happy, giving managers some job security in the form of severance package is considered necessary.

Resignation does not have a severance package. In many cases, managers who are about to be fired without cause will negotiate for less severance if they are allowed to resign. The city saves some money and the manager doesn’t have a termination on his or her resume.

However, the situation with Jaiyeoba was different since he had resigned and was have been eligible for severance under his contract.

The city had to find some “public good” or “public service” that the city was buying with its $100,000 and the “public good” or “public service” appears to be that Jaiyeoba won’t sue the city.

It looks like an extremely one-sided agreement with almost all the benefits to Jaiyeoba and the cost to the city.

The City Council was scheduled to discuss this agreement in closed session on Thursday, March 14 but that meeting has been canceled.  The city made no official announcement about why the special meeting called by Councilmembers Goldie Wells and Sharon Hightower was canceled.