The city has agreed to pay former finance director Terri Velasquez a whopping $250,000, it states a news release.
The City of Colorado Springs and former City employee Terri Velasquez have reached a final agreement to resolve all claims the parties may have against one another. Today the federal court granted a motion filed by Velasquez seeking final and permanent dismissal of the lawsuit brought by Velasquez against the City in 2011, and the City has agreed to provide payments to Velasquez totaling $250,000 to address outstanding disputes over back-pay, attorney’s fees, her termination from employment with the City, and related transition issues. The parties mutually agreed that a final settlement would be in the best interest of both parties allowing them to move forward along separate paths. There was no admission of any wrongdoing or liability on the part of the City.
Here's what's odd. Yesterday, when we asked the city to cough up the figure, City Attorney Chris Melcher said through a spokeswoman, "The City is still working to resolve this matter. It has not been fully resolved as of this date."
Which seemed absurd, considering Velasquez's attorney had already said the settlement was reached April 1 and he was on the verge of filing the motion to dismiss.
In any event, the payment continues Mayor Steve Bach's policy to pay to get rid of people, like he's done since he came to office in mid-2011. We reported that last week.
Come to think about it, this one's pretty rich. Steve Cox, former chief of staff for Bach, cans Velasquez; the taxpayers pay Cox nearly $200,000 to leave a year later; then the taxpayers pay Velasquez another $250,000 for the way Cox and the city handled the Velasquez canning. (Not that there was any "liability or wrongdoing" involved.)
The Velasquez case is different that the other severance, of course, because she decided to fight her termination, instead of just pack it up and go away for a price.
To read more about this case, go here.