BALLINGER, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Ballinger’s former city manager was overpaid by more than $12,600 from the City of Ballinger before retiring from his position this summer, and he may not have to pay any of it back. This was discovered by BigCountryHomepage.com after obtaining documents through the Freedom of Information Act.
Brian Frieda signed an agreement with the City of Ballinger, becoming the city manager in July 2020. This agreement includes several allowances and stipends that Frieda was to be paid aside from his regular $90,000 annual salary.
According to the agreement, the city manager would receive a housing allowance of $1,000 per month for his first six months of employment. However, the documents show Frieda was paid this housing allowance for at least 13 months after the agreed-upon six. This resulted in more than $12,000 of overpayment to Frieda.
The agreement also stated the council would provide the city manager with an automobile allowance of $550 per month. Documents show he was paid that allowance until February 2021, when it was changed to $600. In March 2021, just two months later, it was bumped up again to $800, remaining that way until May 2023. It is unclear from the documents how much was overpaid or even if this was an overpayment.
Although a clothing allowance was not included in the contract, an application for an annual clothing allowance in the amount of $450 was filled out by Frieda and signed by another party that appears to be a city employee.
These documents show Ballinger City Council accepted Frieda’s retirement and unanimously selected Blaine Ross to step in as Interim City Manager on June 27, 2023, which led to a separation agreement being formed.
The separation agreement was comprised between the City of Ballinger and Brian Frieda, saying in part “In exchange for the execution of and compliance with the terms of this agreement, Frieda will be absolved from any payback of approximately $12,000 for housing allowance overpayments; approximately $601.50 overpayment in clothing allowance.” However, the agreement states Frieda would be waived from any claim for any unused vacation pay, sick pay, and pay for personal days.
While it is unclear where the overpayment of the clothing allowance came from, receipts were given to KTAB/KRBC, showing a $150 purchase from a western clothing store and a $120 purchase from a men’s clothing store in Winters. It is not detailed how Frieda received any of these excess funds.
KTAB/KRBC reached out the Brian Frieda and the Interim City Manager, but both said they could not make a comment on this matter due to the separation agreement.
Ballinger’s attorney contacted KTAB/KRBC, clarifying that some of Frieda’s sick, vacation, and personal days he had left over were given back to the city to make up for this repayment. However, the documents show that Frieda donated some of these days to other city employees. It is unclear how much was left over after the donations.