Portland officials mum on assistant city manager’s sudden departure

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PORTLAND — Both parties involved are saying little about the sudden departure of Assistant City Manager Mona Bector.

Bector’s departure was confirmed Aug. 17 by city spokeswoman Jessica Grondin, who added there would be no further official comment on her departure.

The city has provided no details on a search for Bector’s replacement.

Bector’s hiring was announced in late May as the first to fill two new assistant city manager posts. Her first day on the job was May 29.

Former Police Chief Michael Sauschuck became the second assistant city manager earlier this month.

Bector, who was most recently a consultant in the Boston area, was also a deputy commissioner for New York state government, and served in a variety of offices for former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

With the announcement of former Deputy City Manager Anita LaChance’s retirement this summer, City Manager Jon Jennings decided to return the post of assistant city manager to city government. He determined two positions were needed to effectively help oversee city departments and operations.

The posts pay $140,000, funded in the current city budget passed by councilors in May. The creation of two assistant city manager positions also came with the elimination of the position of senior adviser to the city manager, held by Julie Sullivan until June 30.

The last official assistant to the city manager was Sheila Hill-Christian, who served under former city manager Mark Rees until he resigned in 2014. Hill-Christian then became acting city manager until leaving the city for a job in Cincinnati in May 2015.

Bector also declined comment in the Portland Press Herald, which said Aug. 17 that city officials would not discuss the circumstances under which Bector left and whether she was given severance pay.

David Harry can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or dharry@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidHarry8.

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Portland City Hall reporter for The Forecaster. Baltimore native, lived in Maine since 1989. A journalist since 2005, covering much of Cumberland and York counties. I joined The Forecaster in 2012.