Rohnert Park to offer severance deal to finance chief

Rohnert Park is due to deliver the terms of a severance package to attorneys representing Finance Director Sandy Lipitz, who has fallen out with City Manager Gabe Gonzalez.

The settlement proposal would be the latest stage in a legal battle that broke into the open in late July and was initiated by Lipitz after Gonzalez criticized the quality of her work.

"The City needs to be able to rely on the budget information and analysis you provide, and has been unable to do so," he told Lipitz in a June email.

Lipitz, a 21-year employee who had previously said she wanted to retire, then hired an attorney to negotiate the terms of her departure.

Attorney Scott Steever of Santa Rosa has said Gonzalez has "targeted" Lipitz and is trying to "force her out."

Lipitz remains at work for the city.

Steever declined to comment on what might happen if Lipitz rejects the terms offered by the city.

Gonzalez would not comment on the issue, saying it was a personnel matter.

"The only thing I can say is that she is the one that approached the city about early retirement," he said.

Lipitz on Monday made her first public comments about the confrontation.

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