Celori to receive severance worth more than $70,000

LAKE STEVENS — The city of Lake Stevens agreed to pay the former police chief more than six months’ salary to leave quietly.

Longtime police chief Randy Celori resigned Nov. 5 “in lieu of termination,” according to the separation agreement signed between him and the city.

The six-page agreement dated Nov. 20 was obtained by The Herald under state public records laws.

In it, the city agreed to pay Celori a severance package worth six months of his salary, plus benefits and health-insurance premiums. That alone is worth about $70,000.

Celori also will receive payment for unused vacation time and three months of unused sick leave. He also agreed not to file any legal claims against the city.

As chief, Celori was paid $121,512 a year. His benefits were worth an estimated $15,375.

City Administrator Jan Berg noted in the separation agreement that Celori was an accomplished chief who served the city well.

City officials want to find new leadership for the 25-officer police department, she said last month.

They plan to begin recruiting a new chief soon. They expect to update the City Council members on those plans at the Dec. 10 meeting.

Meanwhile, City Council members last week took a unanimous vote affirming their plans to keep the city’s police department. For months, there has been talk in town that city officials were considering a contract for police services with the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, as several cities here have done in recent years.

“We have worked hard to develop a professional and hardworking police force and I am not in favor of switching gears now,” Mayor Vern Little said in a prepared statement released Monday.

Celori joined the police department in the mid-1990s and became chief in 2001.

Police Cmdr. Dan Lorentzen is serving as interim chief.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com

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