Published: Oct 16, 2012 4:21 PM EDT
Updated: Oct 16, 2012 4:46 PM EDT

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Lee County is negotiating exit strategies with two of its most powerful public figures:  County Manager Karen Hawes and County Attorney Michael Hunt.   Hawes' exit could cost the taxpayers some severance money after the Medstar mess.

"I am working on an exit plan.  We have some issues to work out," said Hawes after the county board meeting Tuesday.

Commissioners also asked board chairman John Manning to negotiate an out with attorney Hunt.   He turned in his resignation Monday, effective August of 2013.    Some commissioners want him to be gone, well before next summer.

"I voted for Mr. Hunt, but I have now changed my mind, and I say it is not working out with him as our attorney," said commissioner Frank Mann. 

Hawes could get 1-year's pay as severance.  That would be $170,000.   County leaders are trying to find a way to keep her on until at least early November, when the clerk of courts audit of Medstar should be ready for release.   

Hawes has worked for Lee in various capacities for more than 25 years.  She's had the permanent job of county manager for about 3 years.  She has been sharply criticized for the grounding of the Medstar medical helicopter program.