OTTUMWA — A settlement between the city and former city administrator Andy Morris has been reached, and council members could sign off on it next week.

The settlement is based on the original employment contract with Morris, who resigned Aug. 23. If Morris was fired “without just cause” or resigned, the contract guaranteed Morris six months’ severance pay and benefits.

Morris’ original pay was $130,000 per year. He has received raises since then and is due another in November, which the city will honor. Together with benefits the agreement will cost the city more than $70,000.

The city is beginning the process of finding a new city administrator. Mayor Tom Lazio, who placed Morris on administrative leave, is serving as interim city administrator. Under a plan approved by the city council, Lazio and City Attorney Joni Keith will review proposals from professional search firms. The firm the city hires will conduct the actual search.

Ottumwa’s search for a new administrator is expected to take no less than three months, though Keith said told the council a six-month timeline may be more likely.

The agreement with Morris is part of the council’s agenda for Tuesday’s meeting, which begins at 5:30 p.m. in the council chambers at City Hall.

Matt Milner can be reached at mmilner@ottumwacourier.com and followed on Twitter @mwmilner

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Managing Editor

Matt Milner currently serves as the Courier's Managing Editor. Milner is a trained weather spotter and is usually outside if there are storms. He joined the Courier in 2002.

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