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Orange County Focus

ANAHEIM : Ruth's New Benefits Package Questioned

November 15, 1991|KEVIN JOHNSON

Councilman William D. Ehrle has called for City Manager James Ruth to return recently approved increased severance benefits, claiming that the City Council was not informed of Ruth's application for a city of Los Angeles job while he was negotiating his Anaheim benefits increase.

"I'm asking that he rescind his agreement with the city (of Anaheim)," Ehrle said Thursday. "I think it was wrong for us not to know that he had made an application for a job in another city."

When the council approved a six-month extension of Ruth's severance package last Tuesday, Ehrle claimed that neither he nor his colleagues were aware that the city manager was a candidate for the job of parks general manager in Los Angeles.

Ruth said Thursday that he submitted his application for the parks job after being approached by Los Angeles officials about the opening and did not inform Anaheim officials because he thought it would be "unethical" to use the application as leverage. He said he would be withdrawing his name from consideration.

"I just didn't think it was appropriate to discuss it," Ruth said.

Ehrle was the only council member to vote against the increase that would effectively grant Ruth a year's salary, or $137,812, plus medical insurance and his $475-a-month car allowance for a year should he be fired.

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