Search for temp replacement for Chief Fehlman began last month

The city of Bainbridge Island has been searching since mid-June at least for an interim public safety director to manage the Bainbridge Island Police Department, records released by the city Friday indicate.

City officials announced Thursday that Bainbridge had hired Larry Dickerson, a retired police chief from Lacey who has been working in cities across Washington and beyond as an interim chief since his retirement.

Dickerson, who will start his new job next week, will serve as interim public safety director in the absence of Police Chief Jon Fehlman.

Fehlman is currently on personal leave for medical reasons. He  has not worked since mid-May, when he was hospitalized for pancreatitis.

Dickerson was hired through the Prothman Company, an Issaquah-based headhunting firm that has helped Bainbridge Island with previous executive searches.

The city released a copy of a contract for services for Dickerson Friday. The agreement was submitted to the city on June 18, and was signed by Interim City Manager Morgan Smith on July 2.

According to the contract, Dickerson will work for the city but will be an employee of Prothman. The company will pay all of Dickerson's wages, as well as handle payroll tax records and employee tax forms, according to the agreement.

The city will pay Prothman $85 an hour for Dickerson's services, plus a 3-percent charge for business taxes. (Based on a 40-hour work week, the base salary would be $13,600 a month.)

The city of Bainbridge Island will also pay any job-related travel expenses, and also pay for temporary housing, according to the agreement.

If the city decides to hire Dickerson as a city employee, the city has also agreed to pay Prothman between 10 to 15 percent of the employee's starting annual salary.

City officials said Fehlman’s salary is $138,324, not including annual benefits of roughly $50,000.

The contract with Prothman, which the company characterized as its standard agreement for providing interim services, does not set a limit on the amount of time Dickerson will work for the city.

The agreement term is ongoing, but the city can terminate the contract at any time, or ask Prothman to replace Dickerson.

Prothman has previously found other interim positions for Dickerson, including a job in Wasilla, Alaska as interim police chief in October 2009.

City officials said Dickerson will not serve as a commissioned officer, but will have supervisory responsibilities and execute the duties of acting police chief.

Dickerson will be introduced to the city council at its meeting on Wednesday, July 11.


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