The Riverside City Council voted April 17 to fire City Manager John Russo, just months after voting 5-2 to extend his contract through December 2024, and now will pay him a generous severance deal.
After the contract was extended in February, Mayor Rusty Bailey announced he would veto the new contract because it was too generous and poorly timed.
Bailey then sued the city to establish that he has the power to veto the contract.
The contract in question went into effect in February and gave Russo a 3 percent raise this year, increasing his annual salary to $323,946, and continuing similar annual raises until the end of the contract in 2024. The contract also gave Russo a 15-year $675,000 loan for his Riverside home.
Since Russo was terminated without cause, he is entitled to a severance package equal to one year’s salary and the retention of his home loan. (Source: The Riverside Press-Enterprise, April 18.)