Medina City Council OKs separation agreement with city manager

Donna Hanson will leave her job as Medina City Manager in mid-July; agreement details not disclosed

The Medina City Council and City Manager Donna Hanson will part company in mid-July following a special council meeting Wednesday night that followed an executive session.

The council approved terms of a separation, first stated by one councilmember as a “termination,” but did not disclose the details. Those will be made public once the agreement was executed, according to Mayor Michael Luis. No date was given, but when executed, the public could make a public records request for the information, Luis said.

Councilmembers Luis, Patrick Boyd, Doug Dicharry, Jay Decker and Katie Phelps voted to approve the separation. Councilmember David Lee voted no, saying he was uncomfortable with the terms of the agreement. Councilmember Janie Lee was out of town.

After the vote, Boyd offered strong words of support for Hanson.

The council agreed to meet next week to discuss the next steps in the process with input and advice from Hanson.

Earlier this year, a federal court jury awarded former Medina Police Chief Jeffrey Chen $2 million. Chen had sued the city and Hanson for firing him and claimed racial discrimination. Chen is Chinese American.

The eight-member jury deliberated one day before reaching a decision and personally ordered Hanson to pay $25,000 in punitive damages.

Janie Lee and former Medina councilmember Shawn Whitney were strong supporters of Chen during the process.