BELEN — Six months after being appointed as Belen’s city manager, Andrew DiCamillo resigned Monday morning.
The Belen City Council unanimously voted to sign a general release agreement with DiCamillo at its meeting Monday evening. His resignation was effective the morning of Tuesday, June 16.
Mayor Jerah Cordova said DiCamillo emailed him Monday morning, asking that he be released from his contract.
“He indicated that he is having some difficulty figuring out how to relocate based on circumstances in his life,” Cordova said in an interview after the meeting. “In consideration of what the city needs, which is a full-time city manager, it sounds like he’s opting to resign and we’re going to issue him the release.”
According to the email sent to Cordova by DiCamillo, which was heavily redacted by the city when sent to the News-Bulletin, he told the mayor he wasn’t going to be able to travel to Belen from his home in Aztec until Wednesday “at the earliest,” and would attend the meeting via Zoom.
Also, DiCamillo wrote, “… I also understand the city needs someone who can be down there all the time or more than I can — being that my home, business and family are in Aztec.”
At the end of the email, he writes, “I would like to provide an outgoing message and have a cordial no harsh feelings exit.”
The city’s attorney, June Roh, said the letter was redacted “because the contents of the correspondence constitutes matters of opinion in a personnel file and medical information …”
Cordova said Roseann Peralta, the city’s finance director, will be the interim city manager until a new manager is appointed.
“Roseann has been filling in on behalf of Andrew during his absence,” the mayor said. “She has always been so kind in stepping into any role we need.”
The mayor said the council indicated to him they want to advertise the city manager’s position.
During his time as city manager for the past six months, DiCamillo has been living in Aztec, N.M., where he resides with his wife and newborn son.
When asked back in February by the News-Bulletin where he was living, DiCamillo said he was staying at the Corazon RV park while actively looking for a place to live in Belen. The News-Bulletin later confirmed he was not living at the RV park, but rather staying at Councilor Ronnie Torres’ home when he was in town.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, DiCamillo spent the majority of his time teleworking from his home in northern New Mexico.
DiCamillo was appointed city manager in January after former city manager Leona Vigil resigned from the position. The city council was split on hiring DiCamillo at the time, with Councilors Danny Bernal Jr. and Ronnie Torres voting to approve the appointment, while Councilors Frank Ortega and Robert Noblin voted against the mayor’s nominee. Cordova broke the tie with a yes vote.
DiCamillo had worked for before, holding the position of Belen’s planning and economic director — a job he was terminated from in 2012.
After he was fired by then city manager Mary Lucy Baca, DiCamillo sued the city for wrongful termination, but two years later, he settled the lawsuit. According to court documents, the city paid DiCamillo $40,000, expunged his personnel file and agreed to give him a neutral reference.
As part of the settlement agreement, DiCamillo agreed to dismiss the lawsuit, and to never apply for a position with the city again; however the city agreed it had the sole discretion if they “elected to rehire Mr. (Di)Camillo at some point in the future …”
Clara Garcia is the editor and publisher of the Valencia County News-Bulletin.
She is a native of the city of Belen, beginning her journalism career at the News-Bulletin in 1998 as the crime and courts reporter. During her time at the paper, Clara has won numerous awards for her writing, photography and typography and design both from the National Newspaper Association and the New Mexico Press Association.