Editor's Note: The Aiken Standard is updating this story live and as it happens. Check back for more details.
5:30 p.m. - Meeting concludes with announcement that Bedenbaugh will be the current acting city manager. Read more in tomorrow's edition of the Aiken Standard. -------------------------------------
4:40 p.m. Council returns from its second part of executive session. -------------------------------------
4:21 p.m. - Assistant City Manager Stuart Bedenbaugh has been asked to join Council in executive session. -------------------------------------
3:30 p.m. - Aiken City Manager Richard Pearce has resigned.
Council unanimously approved Pearce's resignation during its third special meeting today that started at 3 p.m. Pearce was accompanied by his wife and daughter just as he was when he was officially chosen as City Manager in December 2011 by Council.
Pearce will receive $67,506.40 severance, half of his annual salary plus $12,426.84 for 12 months of COBRA health insurance coverage. His resignation is effective at 6 p.m., and all payments will be made to him today.
"Aiken City Manager Richard Pearce has tendered his resignation effective June 6, 2014," read a press release. "Aiken City Council accepts his resignation with regret and with appreciation for Pearce's more than 15 years of service to the City. This resignation has been given and accepted on terms mutually agreeable to all involved. All parties look forward to continued successes by our city. All parties wish one another well in all of their future endeavors."
Before the executive session began, Pearce handed City Attorney Gary Smith a packet of papers.
Pearce sat outside in the Council Chambers with his family while Council met in executive session, which lasted only about 20 minutes.
After Council voted, they went back into executive session with City Finance Director Kim Abney. Pearce and his family proceeded to leave Council chambers.
Pearce was recently under scrutiny after the lengthy cleanup of debris stemming from February's Winter Storm Pax.
Editor's note: In an earlier version of this article, it was reported that City Councilman Philip Merry was overheard whispering over the mic to Pearce that he was sorry about his resignation before Council went into executive session. Council later stated that words were heard but they were not sure who exactly made the comment.
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