An employee fired April 17 by Carmel Clerk-Treasurer Christine Pauley is getting her job back, but she won’t report to her previous boss.
Carmel City Council President Jeff Worrell said he and Pauley met April 25 to work out a plan to rehire Ann Bingman, who had been the city’s director of internal controls before she was terminated.
The Carmel City Council held a special meeting April 23 to investigate the firing and the ability of the clerk-treasurer’s office to complete its work without Bingman. The city is in the midst of an annual audit for which Bingman had many key responsibilities.
At the meeting, Pauley expressed confidence the office could fully function without Bingman, while Bingman said she had doubts about how all of the work would be done. She also said she believed her termination was “politically motivated” and that Pauley had called her soon after she was terminated and left a voicemail about a “peace offering,” which she assumed meant she would get her job back. Bingman, however, did not return the call.
“When I left that (April 23) meeting, I did have concerns. I could’ve taken the position of saying, ‘OK, Christine, you said you could do it, so go do it.’ However, Ann raised some questions and others came to us after that meeting to raise questions,” Worrell said. “Therefore, I was grateful to Christine that she was willing to change her position on this specific employee.”
Worrell said the conditions of Bingman’s rehire include restructuring the office so that Bingman will not report directly to Pauley and that Pauley cannot terminate Bingman again when the audit is complete.
Bingman said she is “very excited” to be returning to her former role.
“I am deeply appreciative of the city’s support during this difficult time and look forward to working with everyone again,” she said. “I will be returning (April 30) to get the work back on track as quickly as possible.”
Pauley issued a statement about Bingman’s return.
“Last week a key (clerk-treasurer’s office) employee, Ms. Bingman, was terminated but not due to fraud, misappropriation of funds or poor performance. Ms. Bingman had performed at a high level with many external and internal stakeholders depending on her expertise in the area of municipal financing and bond issuance including myself,” Pauley stated. “So in the air of cooperation and goodwill for the betterment of the upcoming statutory changes to the city’s governance structure, Ms. Bingman has accepted my apology and offer to return.”