Luray Pays More Than $150,000 to Settle with Former Town Manager

By: Estephany Escobar Email
By: Estephany Escobar Email

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LURAY, Va. (WHSV) -- The Town of Luray paid more than $150,000 in a settlement with a former town manager using taxpayers' money.

Some Luray residents who did not want to go on camera did not agree with the move; however, others thought it was the only choice.

Charles Hoke, the current town manager said no one will be paying extra in taxes for this settlement.

He said the town of Luray paid Rick Black nearly $130,000. This money includes 11 months of severance, compensation time, health and disability insurance. In addition, the town paid more than $36,000 in legal fees.

According to Hoke, Black claimed the town dismissed him from his position after he did not agree with terms in a contract. Hoke said the town did not feel the same way.

Even though Black did not serve the town for more than 30 years, he will still receive full benefits. According to Hoke, under the Virginia Retirement System, if a contracted employee started his job before 2010, worked for 20 years and had an involuntary leave, he is still eligible for full benefits. The employee would also have to be over 50 years old.

Black met those requirements.

VRS estimated Black to receive nearly $160,000 in retirement.

Alan Eldridge, a Luray resident, said this money could have been used for other projects, but he agrees with the town's decision.

"If you can tell me another source of funds that could have been used to settle this case I would be absolutely delighted to know it. As far as I know it there is no other source of funds that could have been used to settle this case," said Eldridge.

He said he hopes this will not happen again.

The money for this settlement was included in last year's budget approved by the town council.


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