Shohreh Dupuis will officially retire from her position as Laguna Beach’s City Manager on Sept. 1. City attorney Phil Kohn announced the decision after the city council met in a closed session on Thursday morning, Aug. 24.
Dupuis, who has held the role of city manager since June 2021, is on paid leave until Sept. 1.
Dupuis’ decision comes from a mutually agreed-upon separation agreement negotiated in response to a hostile workplace claim filed by Dupuis following a period of conflict with a city councilmember, a city press release stated. The agreement allows the city to settle the claims without “costly and time-consuming litigation and represents responsible stewardship of public funds.”
“This agreement represents the best path forward as we address the many issues facing our community,” Mayor Bob Whalen stated in the release. “By following this course of action, we limit the potential legal and financial exposure to the city and can move forward with finding a new city manager and prioritizing the public’s business.”
Under the terms of an agreement between Dupuis and the city council, Laguna Beach will pay Dupuis nine months of severance pay and $223,077 in settlement of all claims against the city. She’ll keep her city health insurance for nine months and will receive compensation for legal costs up to $10,000.
Laguna’s Assistant City Manager Gavin Curran will act as city manager while the city searches for Dupuis’ permanent replacement.
Whalen said Dupuis made noteworthy contributions to the city during her tenure.
“Shohreh played a key role for our city during the COVID-19 pandemic and has helped deliver on wildfire safety, transportation and mobility programs, key property acquisitions and other important city council priorities,” Whalen said. “We appreciate her dedication through some very challenging times and wish her well as she enters the next phase of her life.”
As city manager, Dupuis supervised all city departments and more than 346 full-time employees, 250 seasonal employees and a $100 million annual city budget, according to the city website.