North Las Vegas City Manager out, FBI investigating
LAS VEGAS (KSNV) —
$25,000. That number is at the heart of a debate in North Las Vegas that has turned so ugly, a longtime city leader is on her way out and the FBI is on their way in.
Dr. Qiong Liu resigned as City Manager of North Las Vegas last month. She helped lead the once-embattled city from financial ruin and wants to be paid for it. She introduced a severance package to City Council members with a retroactive pay raise of $25,000. That amount would change the base pay of her retirement is based off. She says the council approved the plan years ago.
But the city paints a much different picture.
They claim Dr. Liu saw the writing on the wall. The city planned on firing her in 2018. City leaders now believe she created a golden parachute for herself.
They say Dr. Liu forged a document approving her pay raise retroactive to 2015. They then say she had her human resource director, a subordinate sign off on it. Finally, they believe she directed the city's IT department to block access to her emails so no one would find out.
City Council members denied her severance package and fired her with cause. The termination dramatically lowers her retirement benefits.
Mayor John Lee called it a sad day.
“When people might lose their job they get worried they get scared and its a sadness that took place over a very short period of time," Mayor Lee said.
Through her attorney, Dr. Liu left further legal action an option. Kathleen England telling us “they wanted her to leave. She thought she came to an agreement to leave with dignity and respect but someone decided that wasn't the way to go so we're going to look at the options discuss it and decide what to do.”
A City source tells us the FBI is looking at those blocked emails and the documents related to her severance.