Thanet Star

Chief Executive Samuels to Pocket over 230,000

In a Thanet Star Exclusive we can reveal that Richard Samuels will Pocket over 230,000 on leaving Thanet District Council plus an inflated pension.

Richard Samuels will depart his post as Chief Executive of Thanet District Council in March with a "basic" redundancy payout of 200,000. This will not be the last we see of him as Richard Samuels will hang in as Chief Executive for a while longer to see through the local government elections and trouser a further 30,000 thank-you-very-much.

His replacement the Chief Executive Designate Sue McGonigal is currently not fit to play so Samuels has "kindly agreed" to stay on until May. If Sue's title sounds odd read on and you'll see why.

But that's not all the brucey bonus he'll be getting. According to a high ranking member of staff who was understandably cheesed off the Chief Executive was bumped up two further pay grades just before Christmas, in preparation for him leaving, so that he would get a higher rate of pension. Pension is based on final salary, you see.

I understand that this was rubber stamped by Chief Executive Designate Sue McGonigal.

When Tony of Big News Margate correctly surmised that the Chief Executive of Thanet District Council leaving for an undisclosed sum, ...could perhaps be decoded as Thanet council has offered an embarrassingly generous pay off, which of coarse will not be available to the lower orders he was right. And how!

Richard Samuels extra big golden handshake comes less than twelve months before he would be retired anyway. Of course if The Chief Executive made it to retirement then he'd not have access to a massive hand out for taking it a whole year early. I wish I could be paid 200,000 for not working and then do a few months work for 30,000 on top.

To be fair there is a valid excuse (isn't there always) for giving Samuels a nice retirement present. He is being made redundant due to the merging of the posts of Chief Executive, Chief Financial Officer and Electoral Registration Officer. As Richard Samuels lacks the required financial background they are able to make him redundant. It's water tight.

My person on the inside related a fairly unsurprising anecdote of typical sounding Council inefficiency. It seems that Richard Samuels is staying on because Sue McGonigal has just broken her leg while on holiday. Richard Samuels has valiantly offered to stay on for an extra two months "for the good of the council" and a payment of 30,000 while Sue recovers is recuperating.

On the same day that most council departments received "at risk of redundancy" letters, Richard Samuels demonstrated his value for money when he stood up in a Chief Executive's briefing (last week) and confessed that he "didn't know what was going on". Apparently Sue McGonigal had been dealing with the impending restructure and making notes and keeping people up to date does not seem to be a strong point for these guys.

However there are questions left unanswered regarding Samuels' rubber stamping buddy Sue McGonigal who has the unlikely title of Chief Executive Designate. I emailed some friends I know who work much, much lower down the food chain and asked them what a Chief Executive Designate is and if the huge payout was true (understandably no one wanted to talk about the money but they did answer question about waht this title means). The short story is that it is a tile made up especially for Sue because she can't have Richard Samuels' Chief Executive title while he still holds it. Also (hugely paraphrasing what I was told) Sue McGonigal has yet to be rubber stamped into the post by the Appointments Board (which I understand is made up of councilors including the Leader of the Council).

I asked my friends how one gets such a job and then after talking to my person with the inside intel I was able to put this story together: (Warning: this might leave you feeling cross if you were not already cross).

Two years ago the title of Deputy Chief Executive was put into tossed out. Then six months ago the title was dusted off and given to Sue McGonigal. From Chief Financial Officer into a dead post and then into "Designate" with the deputy post mysteriously disappearing back into the mists.

From what I can tell from my sources this obvious playing of favorites has upset a lot of people at all levels (which is why my high up person was so talkative I imagine). It also appears to me to have enabled Sue McGonigal to set some pretty impressive presidents for the post she is about to take and rubber stamped Richard Samuels out of the door with 230,000 in his pocket.

This does not tell me how someone who works so closely to Richard Samuels was allowed to promote him (twice) up the pay scale.

This does not explain how Richard Samuels gets such a big payout given his remaining working life. I'm sure no one here believes that 200,000 per remaining year is a standard going away gift. That's more than 10 years wages for many of us.

The 30,000 Richard Samuels is getting for two months work is more than many of us get for a year. I'm sure we all wish we were on 15,000 a month (160,000 a year) standard pay.

The thing that really hurts is that this our money they are giving him.

Please note I have no intention of naming the people I interviewed for this and especially not the person who gave me the more scandalous details.

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