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Hale to negotiate Riemann settlement

Following an executive session, Farragut’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen authorized Town Attorney Tom Hale to settle an ongoing suit with Town Media Coordinator Chelsey Riemann for an amount not to exceed $15,000.

“A motion was made to authorize me to negotiate a resolution of the matters involved in [Rie-mann’s Equal Employ-ment Opportunity Commission] claim,” Hale said.

Aside from Mayor Ralph McGill’s absence from the Board meeting Thursday, July 9, the decision to authorize the resolution was unanimous.

“Mr. [David] Burkhalter, her lawyer, and I have been talking about this on and off for a number of weeks and ... I had some indication they would be willing to accept a number in that range,” Hale said.

“It’s the first time I thought we were in a range where the Board would think it was the right thing to do,” he added.

Riemann filed a complaint with the EEOC Feb. 10, alleging sexual harassment from former Town Administrator Dan Olson, who resigned that position two days later.

Olson remains employed by the Town as Budget and Finance Director until Aug. 15.

“Part of this is a release, or a waiver, of the claims set out in the E-E-O-C claims. We are, in essence, settling those claims,” Hale said.

“That would, of course, extend over to … [lawsuits in state and federal court]. This does put an end to this particular episode,” he added.

In her EEOC complaint, Riemann alleged that since 2006, Olson made several inappropriate comments to her, stared at her without speaking for extended periods of time and followed her into rooms and around Town events.

“I have been subjected to sexual harassment by Dan Olson, the [former] Town Administrator, and I have complained of such harassment on several occasions to my direct supervisor, [Sue Stuhl],” the EEOC complaint stated.

“Ms. Stuhl can verify my complaints and the failure of the Town to take effective action concerning my complaints.”

The EEOC report also included accounts from other Town employees alleging inappropriate behavior from Olson toward themselves or toward Riemann.


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