Birmingham City Council attempted to persuade American Valerie Lemmie to become its chief executive by offering a lucrative "golden handcuffs" deal worth #560,000.
Ms Lemmie (pictured) would have been guaranteed absolute job security for three-and-a-half years and could only have been sacked if an independent inquiry found her guilty of gross misconduct - an unheard of event in local government.
Council leaders promised other inducements in what turned out to be a failed attempt to convince Ms Lemmie, a city manager in Dayton, Ohio, to take the #160,000-a-year job in December 2001.
Increasingly frenetic attempts to convince Ms Lemmie to take the job are revealed in copies of email correspondence released to The Birmingham Post under the Freedom of Information Act.
Read the full story - including the e-mail correspondence - in Friday's Birmingham Post