Rumors swirled when Knoxville Fire Chief Carlos Perez abruptly resigned in 2006, 15 months into his tenure in Mayor Bill Haslam's administration, amid stories about there not being a "cultural fit" between the Hispanic fire chief and his East Tennessee firefighters.
The mystery deepened when the separation agreement was sealed.
A Metro Pulse Freedom of Information request to the incoming Rogero administration produced two documents. One is a straightforward resignation letter from Perez saying he and his wife wanted to get an RV and travel around the country.
The other is an agreement signed by Perez and Haslam in which the city agreed to pay Perez his $3,900 salary every two weeks for five months (about $40,000), from his resignation letter on March 3 until July 31, and that he was fire chief until his "successor was named or such earlier date as the Mayor designates." In return Perez agreed to the following:
"For and in consideration of the City's payments to Perez, following his retirement, as referenced above, the sufficiency of which he acknowledges, Perez does hereby release, remise and forever discharge the City, and its officers, employees and elected officials, together with its various departments, agencies, boards and instrumentalities (all of which are hereinafter collectively referred to as ‘the City') of an from any and all claims, actions and demands, whether known or unknown, absolute or contingent, liquidated or unliquidated, and from whatever cause arising, the liability for all of which is denied by the City."