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After running without a finance director for three months, City Hall administrators issued an oblique, understated press release announcing that Bob Samario, the city’s longtime finance czar, had announced his retirement. Samario had been on paid administrative leave since November for reasons not stated pending the outcome of an investigation into issues similarly unstated.
Samario had been a major player in city finance for more than 20 years and was regarded as a skilled administrator. What gave rise to his temporary — and now permanent — absence has been the subject of considerable speculation and murmuring but no official confirmation. What is known, however, is that City Hall had hired outside investigator Adam Law to conduct an investigation at a cost of $54,495.
The results of that investigation were given to City Administrator Paul Casey to act upon. Casey declined to comment on the grounds that the issue involved personnel matters and referred the question to City Attorney Ariel Calonne, who in turn referred it to his assistant John Doimas. Doimas likewise declined to comment on any specifics, again citing legal prohibitions against discussing personnel matters.
In response to more general questions, however, Doimas stated city Human Resources officials had investigated 15 complaints of sexual harassment since January 2019. The outcomes of those investigations are not currently known. Doimas said he could not assemble information showing the outcome of those investigations by the Independent’s deadlines. Doimas noted that Human Resourcesconducted 10 nondiscrimination and harassment trainings in the past year, not counting the trainings administered to each of the city’s 32 boards and commissions.
In the meantime, the Finance Department — with a $6 million budget and 47 employees — will continue to be led on an interim basis by senior-level administrator Jennifer Tomaszewski, pending a job search to find a permanent replacement.