ABERDEEN, Wash. - The city of Aberdeen this week settled a sexual harassment lawsuit against a Municipal Court judge for half a million dollars.
The lawsuit was filed August of 2010, by former court administrator Aminta Hill, and alleged that Judge Paul Conroy sexually harassed and stalked her, and claiming she quit her job after declining his advances.
Aberdeen City Attorney Eric Nelson tells us after 12 and a half hours of mediation on Tuesday, the tort claim for up to 2 million dollars in damages filed against the City, as well as any claims against Conroy, were settled out of court for $580-thousand. Nelson said the city's Insurance will absorb that cost.
Hill was represented by Erik Kupka of Aberdeen and Victoria Vreeland of Bellevue. The settlement calls for a payment to Ms. Hill of $580,000.00 for damages and recoveries available to her under the state’s anti-discrimination laws.
The lawsuit was filed in state superior court for discrimination, harassment, hostile work environment and retaliation against Aberdeen Municipal Court Judge Paul Conroy and her employer, the City of Aberdeen.
The city, in early 2010, hired an independent investigator who concluded that the judge did make romantic advances toward his court administrator, but the inquiry did not find credibility in other accusations, Nelson said that report "speaks for itself," and that no other workplace complaints had been filed against Conroy.
Conroy submitted a legal response denying accusations of workplace hostility, sexual harassment and stalking in September of 2011. Nelson said no action will be taken against the judge who has served with the Municipal Court since 1999, his term expires at the end of this year.