Denver has settled a defamation lawsuit from a former aide to Mayor Michael Hancock for $200,000.
The Denver Post reports that the city reached a settlement last month with Wayne McDonald, a college classmate of and aide to Hancock who was fired in 2012 after he was accused of sexually harassing a female police officer.
The city reached a settlement with the officer in 2013 for $75,000. The officer got $47,400 and her legal counsel got $27,500.
McDonald’s case has dragged out, with his initial lawsuit being dismissed and then reinstated.
McDonald denied the sexual harassment accusation and said Hancock slandered him by telling the media he was fired for “serious allegations of misconduct.” McDonald won an appeal of his unemployment compensation claim, which was originally denied, and a hearing officer found McDonald was “not at fault for this separation. The claimant and the officer had a close friendly relationship that was not romantic.”
Half of the settlement will go to McDonald, and half will go to his lawyer. The city admits to no wrongdoing, and McDonald will not seek employment with the city again.
The settlement is expected to be finalized this week in U.S. District Court.