Case of fired North Las Vegas city manager heads to arbitration

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Ricardo Torres-Cortez

Former North Las Vegas City Manager Qiong Liu appears at a city council meeting Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018.

Wed, Mar 7, 2018 (8:45 p.m.)

Former North Las Vegas City Manager Qiong Liu withdrew her request for a public hearing to review her termination from the city tonight shortly before the council was to begin proceedings.

Instead, a resolution was passed finalizing her departure and calling for an arbitrator to rule on her compensation.

“I do not agree with the grounds set forth in the agenda item and would urge members of the city council to vote against the resolution, but I understand you are unlikely to do so in light of your vote on Feb. 7,” Liu said in a statement.

The council last month voted to terminate Liu’s contract after it says she attempted to give herself a $30,000 retroactive pay increase. But her contract didn’t authorize such an increase without approval from the council.

The independent arbitrator will determine if the termination is with or without cause — a ruling that will impact her payout.

“This is the most efficient use of taxpayers' money,” city attorney Gregory Kamer said.

If the arbitrator finds that Liu was unjustly terminated, she will be entitled to approximately $700,000 worth of benefits, according to Delen Goldberg, the North Las Vegas’ public information officer. If the ruling is termination for cause, she’d still be entitled to $300,000 worth of benefits including sick pay, vacation pay and holiday leave.

She started as an executive in 2004 with North Las Vegas and was elevated to city manager in late 2014.

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