Richland County has agreed to pay a former county administrator a $1 million settlement to protect the government and its councilmembers from wrongful termination lawsuits.
Richland County Council voted 5-4 to the settlement after a 4-hour, closed-door session May 14, The State reports.
County Administrator Gerald Seals was fired in April by the council in a 6-5 vote, according to The State. Seals said he believes his firing was illegal under South Carolina law. The council said he was fired because he failed to consult them on major actions, slept on the job and because he had a rapid turnover in his office.
Seals disputes those claims and said he thinks he was fired in retaliation for raising ethical issues about several council members
Prior to the settlement, Seals had asked for a public hearing to reconsider his employment, which was canceled after the settlement was reached.
Seals served as interim county administrator beginning in July 2016, before being hired full-time in December of that year.