agrees to pay $22,000Former officer, Village settle suit
Former Yellow Springs police officer Kimberly D. Monhollen and the Village
last month settled Monhollens sexual harassment lawsuit, avoiding
a court battle.
According to the settlement agreement, the Village agreed to pay Monhollen
$22,000. Monhollen agreed to drop her suit, which claimed she suffered
sexual harassment while she was a member of the Yellow Springs Police
Department. Monhollen originally wanted $600,000 in damages.
In the agreement, the Village expressly denied the allegations
claimed in the suit.
In a statement released as part of a report presented at Village Councils
meeting earlier this month, Village Manager Rob Hillard said the Village
agreed to settle the suit after its insurance company decided it was less
costly than continuing to pay legal fees and other litigation expenses.
The decision was based purely on economics, and not upon the merits
of the case. The Village reluctantly decided to accept the insurance companys
decision, Hillard said in the statement.
Both Hillard and Police Chief Jim Miller said had the case gone to court
the Village would have won. The Village strongly believes that it
did absolutely nothing wrong, and had the litigation proceeded to a final
judgment, the Village and its employees would have prevailed, Hillard
But Monhollen also contended in an interview Tuesday that she would have
won had the suit gone to court. She said she agreed to settle the case
because it was the closest the Village would come to admitting
Monhollens allegations were true.
Monhollen said she did not file her suit to benefit financially, but instead
she said she sued the Village to bring to light problems she believes
exist at the Police Department. Monhollen said she had hoped her suit
would change the way female police officers are treated in the department,
though she said she is not sure she accomplished that goal.
The settlement was reached in September after both parties held at least
one settlement conference a month earlier. It was accepted by Greene County
Common Pleas Court, where the case was filed, on Oct. 1, the day the suit
was set to go to court.
Monhollen worked for the Police Department from March 1994 to September
1998. According to court documents, she was originally selected as a clerk-dispatcher,
became a part-time officer in April 1994, and in October 1995 was promoted
to full-time status. Since she left, no female officers have been hired
with the Police Department.
In her suit, Monhollen claimed that once she became a full-time member
of the police force she was subjected to both disparate treatment because
she is a woman, and a hostile environment based upon her sex.
It also claimed she was wrongfully discharged by the Village.
Monhollen originally filed the suit in March 1999 but then later voluntarily
dismissed it. She refiled the suit in March 2001.
The suit named the Village, Miller, former Manager David Heckler and Hillard,
who was not with the Village when Monhollen was an officer here, as defendants.