Terms of suit settlement between councilmember Conner and City of South Lake Tahoe released
After nearly nine months, the City of South Lake Tahoe and council member JoAnn Conner have settled and signed the final agreement in the two lawsuits Conner filed against the city.
The widely publicized dispute began when city council voted to censure Conner in October over alleged bullying and intolerant behavior. Conner responded with two lawsuits in December challenging how the city applied its censure protocol and the protocol itself. City manager Nancy Kerry was named along with the city in the lawsuit.
The settlement agreement, which was signed by city officials on Aug. 16 and Conner on Aug. 18, notes that all parties “deny all allegations of liability, or that they have acted in any way illegally or improperly, and have agreed to resolve the litigation solely for the purpose of compromising and settling matters in dispute.”
The terms of the settlement read almost like a city council member employee handbook, and focus on chain of communication protocol.
For instance, Conner must “cc” or carbon copy city manager Nancy Kerry and city attorney Tom Watson on any emails to city staff. Conner’s contact with city staff is limited to email except for in person and telephone calls “for day of event concerns, emergencies, matters requiring immediate attention or other situations dictated by common sense.”
Part of the agreement also includes the de-activation of all council members’ card keys for the city’s administrative offices.
The settlement dictates that the parties will release a joint press release on the settlement — which at the time of press had not yet been distributed — and both parties will not comment further on the suit other than stating that an agreement has been reached.
Both of Conner’s lawsuits are now dismissed, and the city and Conner will each pay their own attorney fees and costs.
The provisions of the agreement will remain in effect until a new city council is seated in December 2016.
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