BROOKSVILLE – Three months after her forced resignation and a lucrative financial separation package, former human resources director Barbara Dupre has landed a new job.
She’s the new HR director in Davie, a suburb of Miami, where she is in charge of six department staffers.
On April 24, Dupre was forced to resign her position as human resources director after a scathing audit and outside legal review uncovered several questionable management methods in her department.
The review said there was a lack of trust and confidence in Dupre at every level of the agency and cited documentation and corroboration of grounds for employee discontent with her performance.
Nevertheless, mainly because previous county administrators never documented those deficiencies on her performance evaluations and government officials were skittish that Dupre might sue, the county gave her a three-month severance package worth $24,900. Add in accrued sick leave, vacation leave and paid time off days, and Dupre left the county with another $15,971 for a grand total of $40,871.
Dupre’s departure was followed 15 days later by the firing of Emergency Management Director Tom Leto, who received a cash-out from the county totaling $9,858 for accrued sick, vacation and PTO hours.
Dupre did not return repeated phone calls to Hernando Today.
Davie Town Administrator Gary Shimun also did not return phone calls inquiring whether he knew about Dupre’s stormy tenure in Hernando County when he hired her.
When she left, Dupre was making $92,487, more than double what she was making after Hernando County hired her in 1998 for $45,182. Part of her boost in pay was because she got a master’s degree, courtesy of the county’s tuition reimbursement program.
At Davie, the salary range for the HR position is between $78,437 and $105,113. HR officials there Thursday did not say where Dupre fell in that range.
Davie’s population is about 90,000, compared to more than 166,000 for Hernando County. It is located in central Broward County, is mostly rural and home to a sizable equestrian community.
The Miami Dolphins train at Nova Southeastern University in Davie.
With a median household income of $55,125 (in 2005), Davie is more affluent than Hernando County, with a median of $40,347 (2006 data).
Meanwhile, Hernando County commissioners, hoping to avoid many of the same kinds of problems it got into with Dupre, is treading very carefully as it seeks a new human resources director.
This week, commissioners voted unanimously to revise the job description. Among the requirements, County Administrator David Hamilton said he is looking for someone who can work “as a leadership team member.”
In the revised job description, the job will pay $69,000 to $109,000 – a range that commissioners believe is appropriate for such a high-ranking position.
The county hopes to have someone on board by September.
Just days after Dupre resigned here, Hamilton formed two committees: one charged with finding a permanent replacement for Dupre and revising the job description of the position.
The second committee has a broader focus – to look into the deeper problems that have been allowed to fester over the years in the HR department. That committee is looking into the management deficiencies identified by an outside legal firm and allow the county to “start rebuilding policies and practices” of HR.
Jerry Haines, the department’s HR workers’ compensation and safety coordinator, has been working as interim director while the county searches for a replacement.
Haines told Hernando Today recently that morale remains high in his department during this period of uncertainty.
Reporter Michael D. Bates can be reached at 352-544-5290 or [email protected]