Mike Brown
Paul Wellman

The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors voted Friday in a closed session meeting to extend Chief Executive Officer Mike Brown’s contract by two years. Brown’s contract was set to expire in 2009, but will now end in May of 2011.

The supervisors conducted an annual review of Brown’s performance. Friday’s conversation contained talk of some “contract augmentations,” as Supervisor Salud Carbajal put it. Carbajal, along with Janet Wolf, voted against the extension. “We considered many facts and information,” Carbajal said of the review.

In addition to the extension, Brown, whose annual salary is roughly $220,000, will receive an increase in his severance compensation provision should his contract be terminated without cause, and a provision authorizing the creation of a 401(a) retirement account. According to a statement from County Counsel Shane Stark, the provision would “fund pension benefits due Mr. Brown under the County’s retirement formula that cannot be paid by the Retirement System because of Internal Revenue Code limits.”

Brown’s conduct has recently come into question with the filing of a lawsuit naming Brown and the County on May 18 by former public defender James Egar, who alleges that Brown made working conditions untenable by threatening him with termination, and by swearing and spitting at him.

Brown didn’t return a phone call late Friday afternoon seeking comment.


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