Fullerton City Hall

The Fullerton City Council voted to dismiss City Manager Ken Domer, at a special closed meeting on Tuesday night. (Andre Gomez / Daily Titan)

The Fullerton City Council dismissed its city manager, Kenneth Domer, at a special closed meeting on Tuesday after serving nearly four years.

The Daily Titan reached out to the city of Fullerton for comment, but the city’s public information office said no further explanation on Domer’s termination could be given at this time, stating that “it’s a personnel related matter.”

The council voted on three actions pertaining to Domer’s termination. The first motion terminated Domer’s contract with a passing vote of 3-2. Council members Jesus Silva and Ahmad Zahra voted against the motion.

The second motion passed unanimously and approved the separation agreement between Domer and the city, which is now a public document, said Richard Jones, the city attorney.

Domer’s termination came three years early as the prior expiration of his employment agreement was set for July 25, 2024, according to the employment separation agreement.

The council’s third motion on Tuesday night, which passed 4-1, named Steve Danley as Fullerton’s acting city manager with Zahra voting against.

Danley’s position as the acting city manager will be brought back for approval at the regular city council meeting next week, where a contract for his services will be ratified.

Having served Orange County for over 30 years in multiple capacities, such as the 2012-15 chief human resources officer or the 2008-12 performance audit director, Danley was appointed by the council to take on the responsibilities of the interim city manager position

The employment separation agreement states that “certain disputes have arisen between City and Domer,” but both parties have agreed that the reason for separation is without cause.

In compliance with the agreement, which details his severance payment, Domer will be walking away with a lump sum payment equal to nine months worth of his base salary.

The employment agreement also states that Domer will receive an additional payment for his accrued vacation leave balance, which is estimated at $225.84 hours, his hourly rate. With an estimated vacation balance of $24,430 in addition to a lump sum of $168,750, Domer’s severance pay totals to over $193,000.

“I want to thank all of the members of City Councils I served for their commitment to bettering the community of Fullerton,” Domer said in a press release by the city of Fullerton. “The opportunity to work in this great City, alongside caring and hard-working staff, will always be a highlight in my career.”

Domer was unanimously appointed city manager on June 24, 2017 and was a critical player in crafting the council’s annual budgets.

Mayor Bruce Whitaker, who voted for the dismissal, said Domer had also been an effective leader for the Department Directors and City staff during the COVID-19 pandemic response.

As per the city manager’s responsibility, Domer reviewed city departments for opportunities to improve operational practices in compliance with available resources while strategically planning a budget that would aid the council through their financial difficulties.

“I have appreciated Mr. Domer’s diligent service and dedication to the City of Fullerton,”

Whitaker said. “His understanding and attention to our budgetary challenges and community needs have provided us clear alternatives and options as the City Council looks to focus on its current priorities.”

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