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Posted: September 11, 2011 12:30 a.m.

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One lawsuit settled, other still pending

The city of Social Circle has settled one lawsuit from a former employee, but another is still pending.

According to the city's attorney, Joshua Viau, the city settled with former police officer Chauncey Dixon, who accused some city employees of discrimination. The settlement was for $25,000, and the city agreed to change its personnel records to show that Dixon resigned. Dixon agreed to cooperate with the city with any investigations or legal matters, not seek re-employment with the city and drop all claims against City Manager Doug White and the city of Social Circle.

"The city and Mr. White have always denied, and continue to deny, any wrongdoing alleged by Mr. Dixton," said Viau. "Indeed, the settlement agreement clearly states: 'this agreement shall not be deemed in any manner an admission, finding, or indication for any purposes whatsoever that the city or Mr. White acted contrary to the law or violated the rights of Mr. Dixon, or any other person at any time.' After much consideration, the city and Mr. White decided that an early resolution in this case, with minimal expense to the parties, outweighed the costs of continuing to litigate Mr. Dixon's through trial despite the belief they would have been fully vindicated."

But this is not the end of the city's legal woes. There is still the lawsuit filed against the city and White by former Public Safety Director Steve Shelton. Shelton alleges that he was forced to resign and was a victim of retaliation.

"With respect to the complaint filed by former Public Safety Director Steve Shelton against the city and Mr. White, the complaint has not yet been served and the city and Mr. White have therefore not yet had the opportunity to file a formal response," said Viau. "The city and Mr. White, however, deny Mr. Shelton's allegations against them, and further deny any wrongdoing with respect to Mr. Shelton's employment with the city. The city and Mr. White are confident that as the facts come to light through the course of litigation, the evidence will refute Mr. Shelton's allegations of unlawful retaliation and his lawsuit will be found to lack any merit."


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