Brother of recently retired city manager put on administrative leave

Christopher Payton place on administrative leave with pay

By Bob Norman - Investigative Reporter

MIRAMAR, Fla. - The brother of the recently retired Miramar city manager has been placed on administrative leave from his job with the city.

Christopher Payton, the brother of former city manager Robert Payton, retired in 2007 with a pension. He was then rehired at $25 an hour for a job that normally starts at $8.60 an hour, records show.

"That was shocking," said Miramar City Commissioner Alexandra Davis.

The city placed Christopher Payton on administrative leave with pay, saying it was pending a human resources department inquiry into "possible employee misconduct."

City employee Paul Bennett -- who blew the whistle on Chris Payton's job -- filed a police report accusing him of approaching him in a threatening manner at city hall.

"There was an altercation and it is being investigated," said Mayor Lori Moseley.

The investigation into the complaint, which involves no physical contact, is being finalized, said police spokeswoman Tania Rues, adding that Bennett waived prosecution and no charges are expected.

Richard Klugh, Christopher Payton's attorney, told Local 10 last month that the job was given him by the city to make up for a "pension deficiency issue" and that his client has acted "honorably."

"That's not how you do business," said Commissioner Davis. "If there was a mess up on the retirement side, you have to take that up with your attorney, whatever you need to do, but we shouldn't have to pay for that mistake."

Davis said that rehiring and the hiring of high ranking city officials who retired with pensions sends a bad message to taxpayers.

"It seems that is done as favoritism. We need transparency here," added Davis.

The city hired an outside company to review all salaries and hirings.

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