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Chelan County PUD settles litigation with 2 past employees

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Chelan County PUD settles litigation with 2 past employees

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October 31, 2012

(Wenatchee, WA) The Chelan County Public Utility District has settled litigation stemming from the dismissal of two former employees over their management of the District’s fiber program. Joe Jarvis and John Smith were terminated in February 2011 and subsequently sued the District, asking for $1.7 million.

The settlement approved by PUD commissioners in a special meeting Tuesday afternoon resolves all claims by the plaintiffs against the District. The District will pay a total of $985,000.

“This settlement completely resolves the litigation and removes the risk of a potential jury verdict and ongoing legal and litigation fees,” said Carol Wardell, District general counsel. “While we remain confident that the actions taken were the right ones for the right reasons, the case presented legal issues that made settlement the right decision at this time.”

In the settlement, the District admits no wrongdoing.

Plaintiffs and their attorney agreed in the settlement agreement that they were “pleased to have this case resolved.” They further stated in the agreement, “It is time for us and the District to move forward.”

In April 2012, the PUD adopted a new strategic plan for the fiber system after extensive public input and a thorough business review by an independent expert. The PUD recently hired a 23-year veteran of the telecommunications business, Mike Coleman, to manage the fiber program going forward.

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