ELLSWORTH — The Hancock County Commissioners Friday voted to accept a separation agreement with former Chief Financial Officer Phil Roy.
Roy will receive a severance package, which includes eight weeks of pay and county-paid health insurance, until Sept. 30.
Moments before accepting the agreement, the board voted to eliminate the position of CFO from the Office of Financial Affairs.
According to the commissioners, the decision on the separation is mutual.
Roy did not attend the meeting, but Chairman Percy “Joe” Brown said Roy had agreed to the separation agreement and Roy’s attorney had “vetted” it.
Brown read a statement: “Hancock County and its chief financial officer, Phil Roy, have agreed to end Mr. Roy’s affiliation with the county. This is the result of restructuring the finance office of the county as well as the recent hire of a county administrator.
“When hired, the commissioners instructed County Administrator Eugene Conlogue to review all departments and personnel to make government more efficient and less costly. As the county administrator takes on a larger role, the CFO position is being eliminated. Mr. Roy has worked for the county for the past six years and the commissioners and staff wish him well in his future endeavors.”
Roy had not yet signed the agreement as of Friday morning but the commissioners expect him to do so.
When reached by phone Friday, Roy said, “It was great working for the people of Hancock County. I appreciate the opportunity. I love the people of Hancock County. They’re all great citizens.”
The elimination of Roy’s post comes in the wake of a blistering report from the Office of the State Auditor that the commissioners have been obstructing the county treasurer and questioned the creation of chief financial officer position.
The state auditor said in the report that the overseeing of the county’s financial management lies with the elected county treasurer.
Treasurer Janice Eldridge has said previously that the commissioners had reduced the treasurer’s hours to five hours a week even before she was elected to office the first time, in 2010. She was re-elected to a four-year term November 2014.
In 2005, Hancock County voters rejected a proposal, by a margin of 2-1, to make the county treasurer an appointed position instead of an elected one, according to Eldridge.
In 2009, the commissioners hired a full-time chief financial officer, Phil Roy, to oversee the financial management of the county’s funds.
That should not have happened, according to the state.
“The state statutes do not provide for a CFO position within county government,” the auditor stated in the report’s findings.