City settles suit; will pay $115K to former officer

The city has reached a settlement in a civil lawsuit filed in U.S. Middle District Court by a former assistant police chief who will receive $115,000.

Former Assistant Chief Timothy Miller said he faced a pattern of harassment by the former administration, a current member of council and a former member of council and the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 29, leading to his resignation.

He receives $85,000 of the $115,000 to be paid by insurance, with $15,000 each from the city and the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 29, the Patriot News reported on Wednesday.

“I know they continue to work on the settlement,” said William E. Nichols Jr., city finance director.

Nichols said payment is through an insurance agency that used to work on behalf of the city. Jill Nagy is the city’s insurance attorney and not a party in the suit, Nichols said.

Mayor Gabriel J. Campana said the settlement terms were confidential.

“They were decided by council in August during an executive session,” he said. “The city should not settle unless the city employees do something criminal or wrong.”

But those legal matters are never done unilaterally without a presence of a city administrator, according to council leadership.

“Whenever the administration comes to us with any kind of settlement it always has someone from the administration, especially the finance department, there,” said Council President Randall J. Allison.

“If the mayor is not aware of the settlement then that indicates he is not involving himself in the process and there is nothing we can do to help him in that regard,” Allison added.

Miller is no longer able to return to the bureau and agrees not to appeal a police pension board decision denying him a disability pension, the terms stated.

The total amount of settlements with current and former officers in the department exceeds $300,000.