The Arnold City Council has approved a $450,000 settlement agreement with a former Arnold police officer who filed a lawsuit alleging she was sexually harassed, retaliated against and wrongfully terminated.
Alicia Ott, the former officer, will receive $266,000, according to the agreement. Of that amount, $252,700 is for emotional distress and the remaining $13,300 is in wages less withholding. Her attorneys - Dobson, Goldberg, Berns & Rich - will receive $184,000.
See previous articles:
- Councilwoman Questions Speed of Boone Settlement in Light of Ott Lawsuit
- Police Chief: 'Convicting My Officers Before Anything Is Done Is Unacceptable'
Ott alleged in the 2011 lawsuit that she was sexually harassed by a fellow officer and retaliated against. She claims in the lawsuit the incidents led to her being demoted, suspended and eventually fired.
Although an agreement was approved, Arnold City Attorney Bob Sweeney told Patch that nothing in the agreement should be construed as an admission of any liability. In fact, he said the city strongly denies any liability in the case.
Attorneys with MIRMA, the city's insurance carrier, defended the case, Sweeney said. The insurance carrier, which capped the agreement at $450,000, is paying for the settlement in its entirety.
The council unanimously approved the settlement in closed session at its April 18. The settlement was finalized Tuesday.
"It was a fiscal, financial decision on the part of the council," Sweeney said. "Had the council not approved the agreement, the city would have risked a higher judgment and additional attorney fees."
Ott's attorneys could not be reached for comment.
In February, the council approved a $55,000 settlement in the Susie Boone discrimination case. Boone, the city's parks and recreation director, alleged Ward 4 Councilman Ken Moss had harassed her for more than two years.
However, Moss has denied any wrongdoing and has filed a defamation lawsuit against Boone, three other city officials and a private investigator involved in the investigation of that Boone's complaint.
See previous articles:
- Arnold Park Director's Lawyer Files Second Complaint With State
- Ken Moss: 'I Didn't Do Anything'
- Arnold Council Votes Down Acceptance of Harassment Investigation
- Arnold Employee Files Harassment Complaint Against Councilman