MARTINEZ -- Nine months after her hire date, the top official at the Central Contra Costa Sanitary District has left after agreeing to retire, district officials said Tuesday.

Ann Farrell, 61, retired as general manager on Monday, saying in a statement to staff that she had reached an "amicable agreement" with the district's five-member board. The announcement followed a closed-session meeting on Thursday in which board members reviewed and discussed Farrell's performance, the final in a series of meetings on the subject.

"The board has decided to go in another direction," board President Jim Nejedly said Tuesday, without elaboration.

The board promoted Farrell to general manager on March 31, offering her a beginning annual salary of $217,868 plus benefits. She was a 13-year employee of the sanitary district who previously worked as director of engineering.

Nejedly, who was re-elected to the board in November, said the board has reached a tentative separation agreement with Farrell that will include severance pay. The amount of severance pay was not available Tuesday as the agreement is not yet final.

Curt Swanson, a 25-year district employee, has been named interim general manager while the board begins the process of selecting a permanent replacement.

"My intention would be to find a replacement as soon as possible so we can move ahead," Nejedly said.


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The sanitary district's service area stretches as far north as Martinez, as far south as San Ramon and includes Lamorinda.

David DeBolt covers Concord and Clayton. Contact him at 925-943-8048. Follow him at Twitter.com/daviddebolt.