Apr. 28—LEWISTON — After less than a year at the helm, Lewiston City Administrator Denis D'Auteuil submitted his resignation Tuesday, saying he plans to leave city management for the private sector.
Following a lengthy executive session, the City Council voted to accept a resignation agreement with D'Auteuil that establishes a 90-day transition period and provides for the payment of six months of salary and benefits.
D'Auteuil, a Lewiston native and resident, said he made the decision to move into the private sector after "much reflection and discussion" with his family.
He told the Sun Journal it was "a personal decision with my family," and it felt like the right time to step away from what is "a very public position."
When asked to elaborate, he said he could not point to one issue that led to the decision.
"I think I've just come to a point where after over a decade managing within local politics, and lots of conversation with my family, we kind of said it's time to transition back to a job maybe a little less in the limelight, and have a little more stable work hours," he said.
D'Auteuil's last day is scheduled to be July 27, at which time Deputy City Administrator Dale Doughty will serve as acting city administrator until D'Auteuil's successor is hired.
D'Auteuil was hired as Lewiston's deputy city administrator in 2017, after serving six years in Auburn. When he had secured the job as the city's next administrator last April, he said, "There is no greater honor than to be able to serve the residents of my home town."
"I am proud of the work that we have accomplished as a team over the past four years serving the city of Lewiston, and I am confident that city staff and elected officials will continue the positive momentum that we all worked hard to create," D'Auteuil said in a statement.
"After 11 years of serving both the communities of Lewiston and Auburn it is time for me to transition back to the private sector. I look forward to this next phase in my career and wish the Lewiston community the very best."
A joint statement from Mayor Mark Cayer and the City Council said officials "understand Denis' desire, at this point in his career, to consider the private sector and are fully supportive of his efforts to secure a position in the next chapter of his life."
"We regret that he will be leaving the city at the end of July, but we know that he will leave the city in a strong position as Dale Doughty transitions into the role of acting city administrator," the statement read. "Both the City Council and Denis are committed to working together for a smooth transition."
D'Auteuil said Tuesday that Doughty "brings a tremendous skill set to the Lewiston team, and the city will be in great hands with Dale at the helm."
The statement from Cayer and the council said officials are "pleased with the achievements made over the past year," despite the pandemic. Officials said the list includes developing law enforcement, recreation and economic development plans that "bring our community into the 21st century."
"Much of this work was a direct result of City Administrator D'Auteuil, even though the circumstances of a pandemic placed an added burden and strain on the city's operations," according to the statement.
The initial term of D'Auteuil's employment agreement was for three years, with a starting salary of $120,000.
The City Council voted unanimously to accept the resignation. When voting to approve, several councilors said, "With great reluctance, yes."