In separation agreement, Chief Lopez and City of Durham agree not to publicly bash each other | News
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Friday, September 18, 2015

In separation agreement, Chief Lopez and City of Durham agree not to publicly bash each other

Posted by on Fri, Sep 18, 2015 at 2:00 PM

Chief Lopez, bottom, second to right, in 2014. - JUSTIN COOK
  • Justin Cook
  • Chief Lopez, bottom, second to right, in 2014.
You might have been surprised by this week's announcement that Durham Police Department Chief Jose Lopez was being forced into retirement at the end of the year. Then again, if you've followed Lopez's eight-year career with the city—rising violent crime numbers, great racial tumult, reported allegations of racial profiling and an increasingly chilly relationship with the City Council—perhaps not. 

Today, the Indy has obtained a copy of Lopez's separation agreement, which was signed by the chief on Monday. In addition to the usual legalese, Lopez and the city have agreed to a clause that neither party will "denigrate, defame, disparage, or cast aspersions" upon the other. It says nothing, however, of leaving flaming bags of dog poop on each others' doorsteps. So, you know, this is still on the table. 

Another key portion of the deal promises Lopez a one-time lump sum payment upon his retirement equal to half a year's salary. Lopez currently pulls in an annual salary of $143,544.04, to be exact. 

The city also promises to keep confidential personnel information relating to Lopez's tenure confidential, meaning we won't be seeing any written evaluations on the chief's performance any time soon. Considering the discord of the past eight years, that might have been interesting. 

Lopez's last day as chief will be Dec. 31. In the coming weeks, city leaders say they will be searching for his replacement. Here is the agreement in full.

Chief Jose Lopez's separation agreement. Chief Jose Lopez's separation agreement. Courtesy of City of Durham

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