Less than six months after she started work with the city, Independence Power & Light's general manager is out.
Brenda Hampton, who was named general manager in December and started work with Independence in January, has left her position, city officials confirmed. The nature of her departure is not clear, and Hampton, like most city employees, did not have a contract, the city clerk's office said, so any possible severance or settlement is unknown.
City Manager Zach Walker said Friday afternoon he would not comment at the moment, being a personnel matter. Per the charter, only Walker can directly hire or fire employees on the staff.
Hampton did not return a message seeking comment.
Hampton's salary for a full-year, based on her hourly rate and a 40-hour work week, would be about $172,400, the clerk's office said.
Hampton, a Kearney, Missouri native, had been director of regulatory policy at Texas-based Vistra Energy for two years and essentially replaced Andy Boatright, the former IPL deputy director who resigned a year ago.
Boatright resigned the day after he made an impassioned plea to the City Council about several IPL employees whose jobs had been cut by a council majority in an 11th-hour amendment to an already balanced budget. With one flip on another vote, those positions returned to the budget.
Boatright had been hired as assistant director two years earlier and oversaw the request for proposal process for the controversial smart meters, became IPL's acting director in 2017 when Leon Daggett retired, and then was named deputy director later in the year with direct oversight over IPL. Assistant City Manager Mark Randall was made the director of public utilities.
Boatright has now been utilities manager for the city of Zeeland, Michigan for six months.
During Hampton's tenure, the city decided to move forward with a gas-power contract out of Oklahoma – the first step toward closing the aging and expensive gas-fired generator at the Blue Valley power plan – made a 2 percent cut in electric rates and decided to make another 4 percent cut starting in a couple months. Hampton had been charged to work with the city manager's office and find expense cuts to accommodate the rate cut.