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Former Comptroller Considers Legal Action Against City

Tom Clarson tells the City Council his wife, Sandra, was unlawfully fired.


Sandra Clarson, who was as Long Beach's comptroller for the past 10 years and warned the prior administration about the cash-flow shortfall that befell the city last year, is considering legal action against the city after she was terminated in January.

Clarson’s husband, Tom, told the City Council at Tuesday’s meeting that his wife was unlawfully fired and denied termination pay that she is owed, but City Manager Jack Schnriman called these and other charges “factually inaccurate,” according to the Long Beach Herald.  

Reading from a prepared statement, Tom Clarson said that his wife learned that she would be let go through the media:     

“While transitioning to the new administration, my wife was subpoenaed to testify in front of a grand jury against one of the council members. The next day she read in the newspaper that she was being fired.”

Last November, city officials scrambled to come up with cash after Sandra Clarson notified then City Manager Charles Theofan in a memo that the city will face a $1.3 million deficit in December, threatening the year-end payroll, and she suggested emergency measures. “Absent of direction on this matter, City of Long Beach employees will not be paid on December 23, 2011,” Clarson wrote.

Her memo also noted that the city faced unbudgeted payouts to a number of retirees, including high-ranking police officers: “At this time, the city’s budget does not have enough for the termination payouts that it is now responsible for.”

In response, the prior administration called an emergency meeting of the City Council, which approved measures to issue a $1.75 million tax-anticipation note to cover payroll and a budget note to authorize the city to borrow $2.5 million to meet its contractual obligations to retirees.

In January, Schnirman and the new Democratic-controlled council tapped Nassau County Budget Director Jeffrey Nogid to be Long Beach’s new comptroller.

Jasmine February 12, 2012 at 07:28 PM
She was the comptroller for the last 10 years-- originally hired by the dems
Who cares February 12, 2012 at 08:31 PM
So the dems hired a meat packet to be the comptroller. The finances of the city get all messed up and taxes get raised 25% The republicans fix it then it's election time again and the finances are screwed up and the dems win. Interesting.
Datt Matt February 12, 2012 at 09:54 PM
Jasmine – you are only ½ correct. She was originally hired by the dems to work in payroll. When former city comptroller, Alice Schildkraut, quit (yes, she quit) Sandra stepped in to help with the budget and was later named city comptroller by the republicans. Sandra had been the city comptroller since 2005ish.
Candygram for Mongo February 13, 2012 at 05:55 PM
way to go - jump on the "sue the city" bandwagon
Hot topic February 19, 2012 at 02:37 AM
She came from the NYC comptrollers office with over 15 years of experience before coming to long beach. Seems qualified to me.

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