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AUBURN — County Internet Technologies Director Steve Johnson will likely end almost three months of paid leave with retirement.

The Cayuga County Legislature Tuesday reviewed and revised a proposal by Johnson and his lawyer to retire with conditions that would keep him on county pay roll for a while longer. The Legislature’s adjustments give more definition to the parameters of Johnson’s conditions, said County Administrator Thomas Squires.

“We’re having a conversation with Steve we hope will resolve the outstanding issues, satisfy the county as well as Steve,” said Squires.

Johnson has been on paid leave since late May for violating workplace rules. County officials have declined to elaborate on Johnson’s offenses.

The county asked Johnson for his resignation last week, Squires said.

The Legislature met in a closed session Tuesday to discuss what action to take with the IT director. The board is considering Johnson’s retirement proposal, which would allow him to remain on the payroll longer, collect more in health insurance and use vacation days.

The county had previously considered civil charges, but will likely not press charges against Johnson if he agrees to retire.

As a general rule, the county prefers resignation to pressing civil charges because resignation is less costly to the county and causes less personal damage to the county employees involved, Squires said.

County employees are eligible for retirement once they turn 55. Employees must be at least 55 and have worked a minimum of 30 years to qualify for full benefits.

Johnson has been employed with the county for 13 years, Squires said. His current salary is $71,605.

As the county anticipates Johnson’s step down from his position, Squires said at Tuesday’s meeting of the Government Operations Committee that he has scheduled a meeting with the three departments of IT personnel to brainstorm ways to reorganize. The IT departments for the county, health and human services and the treasurer’s office will meet Thursday to consider options for reorganization and consolidation that could save money and provide services more efficiently.

Squires said the task of consolidating IT has been on his agenda and is primarily driven by the upcoming budget season. An open position will give more flexibility for reorganization, he said.

Staff writer Sarah Gantz can be reached at 282-2237 or sarah.gantz@lee.net. Follow her on Twitter at CitizenGantz.

 

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