Former planning director, Scottsdale reach agreement - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Former planning director, Scottsdale reach agreement

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Posted: Sunday, April 13, 2008 9:54 pm | Updated: 9:01 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Jeff Fisher, a former high-ranking Scottsdale employee who said he was suddenly fired last year for blowing the whistle on a firefighter-owned nightclub that had potential safety violations, has reached a settlement allowing him to resign.

The agreement between Scottsdale and Fisher signed last month allowed the former planning and development services director to submit a resignation letter effective Sept. 14, or the day he was initially fired.

The four-page agreement states that any "inconsistent documents" to this resignation will be removed from Fisher's personnel file.

Fisher will not receive any money as part of the settlement and agreed not to seek regular re-employment with the city. Fisher also agreed not to sue the city over the matter.

In his three-paragraph resignation letter, Fisher states that he will seek another opportunity to further his current career goals. Fisher wrote it was a pleasure to work with the citizens of Scottsdale and his colleagues and wishes the city "the best of luck in the future."

Fisher was terminated Sept. 14 for sending private Yahoo account e-mails from his work computer, including one in which he impersonated another city employee, according to the city's termination letter released to the Tribune last year.

Included in the investigative documents provided to the Tribune at that time was an e-mail from Fisher's city account to the Tribune pointing out possible building code violations at Drinx nightclub, which is owned by Scottsdale firefighter and union president Steve Springborn. Fisher denied sending the e-mail, which was sent from Fisher's work e-mail account. He was fired after a one-week investigation.

Fisher's lawyer, Phil Flemming, sent a letter to the city Oct. 12 saying that Fisher is willing to settle the matter for either full reinstatement or 1 1/2 years' base annual salary. The letter states that it appears Fisher was fired because the city believed he was a "leak" - a claim Fisher denied - and for blowing the whistle on Drinx. City Attorney Deborah Robberson responded Nov. 8, saying Fleming's interpretation of the termination was not accurate.

Flemming sent a follow-up letter Jan. 2 laying out Fisher's settlement demands. He no longer sought a financial payment, but asked for attorney fees and the opportunity to be rehired.

Neither was granted in the settlement agreement.

Citing the agreement's confidentiality clause, Scottsdale spokesman Mike Phillips said the city would have no further comment.

Fisher and Flemming could not be reached for comment.

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