Documents dealing with the employment separation of former Brenham Police Chief Craig Goodman will soon be released by the City of Brenham.
Following a special noon meeting of the Brenham City Council in executive session today (Monday), no action was taken. Mayor Milton Tate announced that the City would be following the Texas Attorney General’s opinion and releasing documents relating to Goodman’s employment and separation from the City. Goodman submitted his resignation as Brenham Police Chief on December 28th of last year, effective January 1st, citing “personal reasons”.
In May, Bryan TV station KBTX learned that the separation may not have been as friendly as it appeared. KBTX requested copies of Goodman’s separation agreement with the City, and other documents dealing with his employment under the Texas Public Information Act. The City chose to seek an opinion from the Attorney General’s office, which ruled that the City must release the documents.
Brenham City Manager James Fisher says today’s (Monday’s) special meeting was for staff members and the City Attorney to explain to Council the issues with releasing the requested information, and to decide whether or not to fight the Attorney General’s ruling. Fisher says council members agreed to release the documents as soon as possible after redacting information that the AG’s office is allowing to be deleted. Fisher said he did not have a specific date as to when the city would release the documents, but he did say it should take no later than next Monday.
As part of the settlement agreement with Goodman, the City agreed to pay him through May 7th, even though his resignation was effective January 1st. That amounted to approximately $38,000, plus another $5000 for 12 days of vacation that Goodman had accrued. The agreement states that there were “bona fide disputes and controversies existing between the City and Goodman”. In exchange for his resignation, the City agreed to remove all administrative investigation records relating to Goodman from his personnel file, and would provide any prospective employers a “neutral” reference.
The agreement states that both parties understand that if the records were requested under the Texas Public Information Act, the City would be required to comply with state law governing the public’s access to records in the possession of the City. In addition to his resignation, Goodman agreed to not sue the City or its directors, officers or elected officials for any claims prior to his resignation. The agreement was signed on December 29th by Goodman and former Brenham City Manager Terry Roberts.