- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Wednesday marked the official termination date of former county administrator Rebecca Bridgett, who had been serving out two weeks of paid leave after a majority of the Charles County commissioners voted to cancel her contract during a closed session June 26.
Roy E. Hancock, formerly deputy county administrator, is again interim Charles County administrator, a role he also filled after the firing of then-county administrator Paul Comfort in 2009.
“The Board of County Commissioners and Dr. Rebecca Bridgett are working toward a mutual and professionally amicable agreement regarding Dr. Bridgett’s tenure as County Administrator. Effective today, Dr. Bridgett has been separated from County employment ‘not-for-cause,’ pursuant to the terms of her contract,” the Charles County government news release issued Wednesday stated.
Bridgett’s attorney, former county attorney Roger Fink, said, “I think the press release is factually accurate,” but declined to comment further on negotiations with county government.
Fink had previously said county government violated Bridgett’s contract by acknowledging the firing to the media the day it happened, despite a clause giving Bridgett a week to resign before any public announcement would be made.
Commissioners’ President Candice Quinn Kelly (D), who publicly has supported Bridgett since the vote, said the board has not met with Bridgett or Fink, but that County Attorney Barbara L. Holtz is negotiating with them.
“Our county attorney is meeting with her attorney, Roger Fink, and trying to work things out. And I can say it’s certainly my hope that, well, shouldn’t say my hope, but I am of the position [that] we should treat her as fairly and respectfully as possible. And I say that because that’s what any good employer should do for the people who have served them so faithfully,” Kelly said.
At a meeting with St. Charles homeowners association officials and residents Tuesday night, Kelly and Commissioner Ken Robinson (D), who are reported to have voted against the firing, praised Bridgett, eliciting applause from the audience.
Tammy Payne of Waldorf, who went to high school with Bridgett, attended a full day of commissioners’ meetings, sometimes knitting but always displaying a homemade sign urging the board to “Bring Back Becky.”
But Bridgett’s return to county government is “highly unlikely,” Kelly told her Tuesday night.
Robinson agreed, but was hopeful for Bridgett.
“It’s a sad day when we’re no longer going to have Becky behind us. But I know wherever she goes, she’ll be fine,” Robinson said.