By KAREN VELIE
The South San Luis Obispo County Sanitation District Board agreed to provide life-time medical benefits for former administrator Gerhardt Hubner and his family along with a $37,500 severance, following just 16 months on the job. The award occurred while Hubner was battling allegations he misappropriated public funds.
Hubner was hired in April 2016. He received more than $16,000 a month in salary and benefits until his Aug. 3 resignation.
Last week, activist Julie Tacker asked the board to rescind Hubner’s resignation and fire him for cause for allegedly misappropriating funds. Shortly after he was hired, Hubner paid himself $3,500 for relocation expenses that the board never approved.
In December, Tacker made a Public Records Act request for a compensation report that recorded the unapproved payment for relocation. However, the district denied Tacker’s request citing “invasion of privacy.”
“Hubner obstructed my access to the documentation,” Tacker said.
Nevertheless, on May 5, Tacker received documentation of the over payment from the State Controller’s Office.
In mid-July, Tacker made a Public Records Act request for all formal agreements for Hubner’s relocation expenses. A few days later, Hubner announced plans to resign with an agreement in place that included a $37,500 severance payment and lifetime medical benefits.
On Aug. 4, one day after Hubner officially resigned, Hubner penned a letter to Tacker noting the sanitation district never entered into a formal agreement approving the relocation expenses.
“The board should rescind the separation agreement and terminate Hubner for cause,” Tacker said. “Taking the funds without a formal agreement is tantamount to stealing.”
If terminated for cause, Hubner would no longer be permitted to receive a severance or lifetime medical benefits.
“He was in violation of his contract since his first paycheck and he did everything he could to shake me off the trail until he was safely separated with his golden parachute,” Tacker said. “To turn a blind eye would be a gift of public funds.”