A former Rocky Mount assistant city manager who early last month was hired to become the new city manager in College Park, Md., is no longer employed there.
Natasha Hampton was supposed to start work in College Park on Tuesday, but College Park’s municipal government on Wednesday posted a statement online saying the search process for a new manager would be reopened.
The statement said, “After much reflection, the mayor and City Council and Ms. Hampton announced today an end to their employment relationship.”
The statement said that the municipality expects to fill the position by the end of the summer and that College Park interim City Manager Bill Gardiner would remain in place for the time being.
City of College Park Communications and Events Manager Ryna Luckert Quiñones, when asked by the Telegram via email about any additional information, said she would have to defer to the statement. Hampton could not be reached via email on her Facebook page.
College Park, which has a population of more than 32,100, is along the U.S. 1 corridor and extends from inside to just outside the Interstate 495 beltway that encircles the Washington, D.C., area. College Park also is the home of the University of Maryland.
The City of College Park on May 4 announced the hiring of Hampton.
Near the end of the May 10 Rocky Mount City Council meeting, Rocky Mount City Attorney Jep Rose, in a brief statement, announced the City of Rocky Mount reached a $65,000 settlement with Hampton. Rose said the City of Rocky Mount and Hampton settled all disagreements between them upon the payment of the $65,000 to Hampton and her attorneys.
Rose did not say what those disagreements were and did not disclose any additional information, other than to say Hampton was no longer employed by the City of Rocky Mount.
A copy of the settlement Rose provided the Telegram also did not provide any information about what those disagreements were between the city and Hampton. However, the text of the settlement showed Hampton at some point had filed a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Specifically, the settlement included an agreement in which, within 10 days of Hampton’s legal counsel receiving settlement checks, her legal counsel would ask for a withdrawal of the charge she had filed with the EEOC.
The settlement neither provided the date that the charge was filed with the EEOC nor what the charge actually had been.
The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws against discriminating against a job applicant or an employee based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetic information.
The settlement also made clear that Hampton will not belittle or defame the City of Rocky Mount.
The settlement also made clear that both sides, if asked questions by representatives of any journalism publication or electronic medium regarding the settlement, will not comment or will only say the matter is resolved.
The settlement said that of the $65,000 paid by the city, $31,750 went to Hampton related to wages, subject to tax-related withholdings, and $33,250 went for legal fees to the Tucker Moore Group, which served as her legal counsel.
Hampton reported for work in Rocky Mount in 2018 after being hired by City Manager Rochelle Small-Toney.
Hampton, a Miami native, had for about a decade worked for the municipal government in Miramar, Fla., in the Miami area, more recently for about a year as an assistant city manager and for a few years prior as the chief marketing officer.
Hampton also is an author and an advocate for the advancement of women and has her own website.
The settlement between Hampton and the City of Rocky Mount said that on Feb. 26, both the city and Hampton agreed that this agreement would be emailed to her legal counsel and that a consideration period would start on March 1. During the consideration period Hampton would be placed on administrative leave, she would not have to be in her office and she would not have any job responsibilities.
The settlement made clear that Hampton would voluntarily resign on the eighth day following her execution of the agreement to the settlement.
Rose told the Telegram that Hampton’s resignation date from the City of Rocky Mount was April 6.