Met Rec pays former manager employment issue settlement

Insurance company decides on $100,000 payout

by Mark Reaman

The Gunnison County Metropolitan Recreation (Met Rec) district was expected to agree to a $100,000 settlement with the district’s former district manager, Lori Patin, this week. Action was expected to be taken at the Wednesday, August 19 board meeting, which took place after the newspaper deadline.

Based on an agenda item titled, “Consideration of authorization of payment of insurance deductible in furtherance of settlement with Lori Patin,” it was obvious the board was considering a payment to Patin.

Current district manager Hedda Peterson confirmed the issue was up for discussion. “As you are aware, our former District Manager, Lori Patin, filed a Charge of Discrimination with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. The CCRD did not issue any findings with regard to these allegations,” Peterson explained in an email. “However, because Ms. Patin had exhausted her administrative remedies, she planned to formally file litigation against the District. As part of its insurance coverage, the District has a $50,000 deductible. The Board authorized its attorney to negotiate with Ms. Patin’s attorney prior to litigation being filed and authorized $50,000, the amount of the District’s deductible. The attorney worked with the insurer and was able to achieve a resolution with no admission of liability.”

In a prepared statement, board chair David Clayton wrote, “The Board takes the expenditure of these public funds very seriously. The decision was largely based on the reality that this deductible would be exhausted one way or the other, either through resolution or through attorney fees, as the litigation process is lengthy and quite costly. As well, the insurance company made a business decision to add additional funds toward the ultimate resolution. The total amount of the settlement is $100,000.

“As an express term of the agreement, the Board denies wrongdoing, there is no finding of liability, and Ms. Patin may not file a lawsuit related to her former employment,” Clayton’s statement continued. “The Board is pleased that this matter is concluded as we look forward to focusing on providing television and facilitating recreational opportunities for the District’s constituents. Overall, early resolution avoided formal litigation followed by years of going through the court system, which otherwise had the potential to distract us from our mission. We wish Ms. Patin well and do not plan to make any further comments regarding this resolved matter.”

Peterson said a check would be issued from the insurance company this week.

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