Fair dos, you might think. We don't know how many legal actions are pending against Newham over Duckworth's behaviour, or what the council's liability from his 'abrasive' management style might be.
For any other member of staff, you'd think a quiet resignation in such conditions was a good deal, but not for council chief executives. For some unimaginable reason, there is talk that Duckworth will have to be given a massive payoff; there is an almost Masonic agreement that these most cosseted of fat cats should have their mouths filled with gold every time they move.
I've got a tip for any Newham resident reading this. Write to the council's Chief Financial Officer informing them that you believe that any payment in excess of a contractual minimum would be ultra vires and should properly be recharged to councillors if made, and that you are writing to the District Auditor in the same terms.
London councils have a poisonous legacy of grossly overpaid fat cat bosses as a result of decades of PWC, KPMG, Crapita and the like peddling their specious snake-oil strategies to gullible councillors. It's time for a cull, and a cull at nil extra cost to the taxpayer. So pay Duckworth his last month's salary and take his mobile phone and door key from him on his way out. And do not engage some high-flown HR firm to find a replacement; they'll only lie that it needs a salary of £300k, then give it to a chief exec Masonic member from a neighbouring council. It's time to get real.