Antioch Fires City Manager Ahead of Retirement
Antioch City Manager Steve Duran was due to retire this August but, for the majority of the council, his departure couldn’t come soon enough. Duran was fired in a 3 to 2 vote last week amid growing tensions with residents and city council members.
Mayor Sean Wright, Mayor Pro Tem Lamar Thorpe and Councilwoman Monica Wilson supported the termination; Councilmembers Lori Ogorchock and Tony Tiscareno voted no.
Since he’s been fired, Duran will now get $230,000 in severance, plus benefits. That wouldn’t have been the case if he’d been allowed to stay on for the next five months as planned. That’s precisely why Ogorchock opposed the termination. The money could have been better spent on public safety, the councilwoman said.
Duran’s job performance was recently the subject of a closed-door city council meeting. Critics say the executive has an arrogant and controlling managerial style and that he often flouts the stated desires of city residents.
Assistant City Manager Ron Bernal is taking over Duran’s duties for the time being. Asked about the firing, Duran quipped, “I’m just going to count my money for a while — what else am I going to do?”