£130,000 pay-off head of council speaks for first time but reveals nothing
A FORMER council chief who quit her £120,000 a year job after being suspended during an investigation has spoken for the first time.
But Jeanette McGarry, who was chief executive of East Staffordshire Borough Council, has given little away about the reasons for her decision to go.
Former chief executive of East Staffordshire Borough Council Jeanette McGarry
She left the borough council on December 2 after joining the authority, which covers Uttoxeter and Burton, in April this year.
Mrs McGarry said: "I have enjoyed my time working in East Staffordshire and I am sad to leave.
"I am now seeking to develop my career in a different direction, building on my experience with the council."
Alex Fox, who represents Abbots Bromley and is leader of the council, said her departure followed a busy year for the authority during which time it had achieved a "number of successes."
He said: "Jeanette has only been with us for a short time.
"Nevertheless, we have achieved a lot over the last seven months.
"The council wishes her well with her future endeavours."
The terms of her departure are still shrouded in secrecy, but it is reported she left with 10 months of her basic salary and three extra months of compensation – the equivalent of around £130,000.
She had been suspended from her high profile post last month pending an investigation.
The authority has refused to comment about the nature of the inquiry.
Mrs McGarry, who is thought to live in the Birmingham area, was appointed chief executive in January this year and took up the position in April.
She stepped into the high profile job to replace former chief executive, Marie Ainsworth, who died from cancer.
Councillor Fox claimed she had left the authority by "mutual consent".
He previously admitted: "What's happened is in the best interests of Mrs McGarry and the authority.
"I can understand the concern but I can assure everyone that the directors and senior members of the authority have been given the best possible advice both legally and from professional sources."
Councillors were informed of the move at part of a full council meeting where the press and the public are excluded, last Monday night.
Many members are unaware of why Mrs McGarry was suspended in the first place. They were not given any additional information during the meeting. A council spokesman said: "Under the terms of a legally binding agreement between Jeanette McGarry and the council, both parties have agreed she would leave by mutual consent.
"Under the terms of the agreement, Jeanette McGarry and the council have agreed to say nothing more.
"During the period that Jeanette McGarry worked for the council, we achieved a number of important successes as detailed in recent public statements."
Mrs McGarry had previously been corporate director of community services at Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council.
The council's corporate management team of Mahmood Azam and Andy O'Brien will take charge until a replacement is found.