City Paying Employee to Stay Home

shang_stayhomeIn yesterday’s Diario de El Paso there was an article by Karla Guevara Walton where she details how Jane Shang, one of the city’s deputy city manager has been put on administrative leave since June 1, 2014. You might remember that Shane was at the center of the controversy involving the streetcar restoration project where the city had spent $4.7 million in environmental and engineering studies in hopes of receiving a $90 million grant from the state. The catch was the state had never promised the money so it wasn’t available to the city.

Now it seems that Jane Shang is receiving her full paycheck of $174,598.70 while on administrative leave from the city. According to a memorandum dated May 19, 2014 published by the Diario de El Paso, Shang’s employment agreement from 2008 was amended.

According to the memorandum, Jane Shang was reassigned “to a special project as determined and directed by the City Manager, effective immediately and continuing through May 31, 2014”. The memorandum goes on to state, that Shang’s annual salary is $174,598.70 and that she was placed “on paid administrative leave from June 1, 2014, continuing through December 31, 2014”.

The memorandum then goes on to state that Shang will “be placed on vacation leave from January 1, 2015 through April 14, 2015”.

It then states that Shang’s last day of employment at the city “will be on April 14, 2015”.

According to the memorandum, the city “will continue to match” her “employee contribution into the City’s pension fund and will continue your current employee benefits, including car allowance, parking, health insurance, vacation leave, sick leave, life insurance, holidays, personal days and professional development through April 14, 2015”.

In other words, Jane Shang is being paid by the city about $174,000 to stay home until April 14, 2015.

The question everyone should be asking is why was Jane Shang put on “administrative leave”.

More importantly, why is the city using taxpayer funds to pay her while she is not working?

If Jane Shang committed an offense that necessitated her being put on administrative leave then why continue to pay her? If, on the other hand, Shang was put on paid administrative leave because of the actions taken by an employee of the city then was that employee disciplined accordingly?

Notice how all we know is that the city spending the taxpayers’ monies and nothing else.

As always, it is the secrecy of personnel matters that conveniently keeps the community in the dark as to what is going on at the city. Unfortunately, it is the taxpayers that are paying Jane Shang to stay home.

And some still wonder why some individuals do not trust the city to do the right thing.