The City of Houston and former City Administrator Larry Sutton are negotiating the terms of his exit last month from city government.

In a 4-1 vote in May (with one member absent), the council voted to end Sutton’s employment effective May 31. Three of the four council members who voted to remove Sutton were elected in elections April 4 and said in a statement that Sutton, who served 10 years, was an “at-will” employee who could be terminated at any time.

Mayor Don Tottingham is in charge of day-to-day administration of city government. City department heads are reporting to him. City Clerk Tonya Foster will oversee budget and financial matters. A project related to federal disaster aid approved after flooding will be directed by Elaine Campbell, development director.

Tottingham voiced support of the city’s department heads on Tuesday morning and said he expected a smooth transition until a replacement is named.

Tottingham said about 15 applications have been received for the position of city administrator. The field will be narrowed before the interview process begins, he said.

The council discussed the Sutton negotiations during a closed session following its regular meeting. Closed sessions to discuss the situation also were held May 1, 15 and 23.

The city administrator oversees a $7 million budget with 25 full-time and five part-time employees. The council advertised the pay range as $55,000-$68,000 plus benefits. 

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