Hinton resigned his position after working more than 18 years for the city. His last day was Jan. 3.
On Dec. 16, Acri sent this email to Hinton.
"Good morning, Scott. I want to thank you very much for your many years of leadership and service to Moline," Acri wrote. "You certainly will leave a legacy with the countless successful projects that you have led. I wish you the very best in the future and please let me know if there is ever anything that I can do for you. Regards, Stephanie."
On Jan. 2, Hinton emailed a reply to Acri and copied all city council members and all department heads on his response.
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"Stephanie, that's the nicest thing you've ever said to me," Hinton wrote. "Unfortunately, you've bad mouthed me to so many elected officials and administrative staff all over the Quad-Cities that I know you don't mean any of it. Regards, Scott."
After Hinton sent his response, he forwarded it to all city public works and engineering employees less than an hour later.
Acri denied the allegations and declined to comment further Monday. Hinton could not be reached for comment.
Alderman Kevin Schoonmaker, Ward 6, said Hinton's response was "a highly unprofessional move on the way out the door. Scott's job was not in danger; he chose to leave. I think the mayor has always been fair and open about her approach to employees. At the same time, she's made significant efforts to get the best level of service from employees for the residents of Moline."
Schoonmaker said he has never heard Acri speak badly about Hinton.
Hinton took a position and a pay cut as city engineer for Kewanee, where he began work Monday, Jan. 6.
His salary in Kewanee is $125,000 — a significant drop from the more than $150,000 he was being paid by Moline.