(KMOV.com) -- The City of Arnold has agreed to pay almost $500,000 to settle a sexual harassment case filed by a former police officer. Meanwhile, the police officer accused of harassment still has his job.
An unnamed Arnold officer alleged she was sexually harassed, then wrongly fired. The lawsuit comes on the heels of a $55,000 settlement with the city's parks director over allegations of harassment.
"...if you want to win money just come to Arnold, you don't have to even buy a lottery ticket," said Doris Borgelt, former city council member.
She said the city would not have reached a settlement with the fired police officer if there was no case.
"If there was no wrongdoing on our part, why did we give them $450,000?" said Borgelt.
A City Hall insider told News 4 the city believed it had a strong case, but did not want to risk a sympathetic jury. Sources say fighting the case could have cost the City of Arnold more than $2 million in damages and legal fees. Mayor Ron Counts said the city council voted 8-0 to approve the settlement.
Counts said the settlement did not cost the taxpayers, but came from the city's insurance. City Attorney Bob Sweeney said the insurance company recommended the settlement.
"It would have been fiscally irresponsible not to accept the settlement," said Sweeney.
News 4's Ray Preston asked Sweeney whether having a strong case but choosing to settle gnawed on him as an attorney.
"Do you ever hear those stoies about animals that get caught in steel taps and they gnaw their own limbs off?" said Sweeney. "That's what it feels like."