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Village of Woodmere and Mayor Yolanda Broadie settle First Amendment retaliation case with Chief LaMont Lockhart

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Following the Chandra Law Firm's $2,000,750 verdict in December 2008, the Village of Woodmere and Mayor Yolanda Broadie finally settled the case with former Village Police Chief LaMont Lockhart. Here are the key terms:

  • Mayor Broadie apologizes to Lockhart on Village letterhead. She respectfully accepts the jury's verdict about her behavior. That verdict held that she illegally retaliated under federal and state law for Lockhart's opposition to her discrimination against white police officers.

  • Along the same lines, there is no denial of liability by the Village or Broadie in the settlement agreement. In other words, with the apology accepting the verdict, Mayor Broadie admits that she engaged in illegal conduct.
  • The jury had originally awarded $850,750 in compensatory damages against the Village and Broadie, and $1.2 million in punitive damages against Broadie individually. Under the agreement, the Village, and Broadie individually, pay a total of $1,377,750. Broadie is personally responsible for $7,000 of it.

  • The Court enjoins the Village from sharing any of the retaliatory documents publicly without a copy of the complaint, judgment, and verdict. They must remove retaliatory documents from Lockhart's personnel file and segregate them—and put his positive evaluation that pre-dated his dispute with the Mayor back. (The Mayor took it out of the file and hid it. She initially failed to produce it with Lockhart's personnel file in discovery. Fortunately, Lockhart already had a copy with him when he left employment, so she had to give it up later.)

Related Practice Areas
Constitutional LawEmployment RetaliationFirst Amendment

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