County not on hook for deductible
According to a letter received by Auditor Pat Wolfe and legal counsel for the county, John Colin, Harrison County will have no financial liability in the recent sexual harassment case settlement involving Sheriff G. Michael Deatrick.
The letter was dated June 24 and sent to Colin by the insurance carrier for the county, Governmental Interinsurance Exchange, and signed by GIE representative Georgia L. Boyer.
A portion of the letter reads, ‘Since this is a settlement based on compensatory damages alone, GIE agrees to pay the entire compensatory damage settlement without contribution from the county.’
Unlike a previous settlement of $55,000 in a discrimination case against Deatrick in the fall of 2007, the county will not have to pay a deductible in this case.
Per the settlement, however, Harrison County will still have to pay for the cost of an Equal Employment Opportunity officer to hold a seminar that shall be no less than two hours of instruction at the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department. Three seminars will be held before May 2011.
During a joint special public meeting June 22, the Harrison County Board of Commissioners and County Council, their counsel for the Sheriff Deatrick sexual harassment case, Jeremy M. Dilts, said no money has been requested from the county to fund or reimburse any of the agreed upon amount of $375,500 for the accusers, dispatcher Deana Decker and former dispatcher Melissa Graham.
Dilts said nothing has been asked monetarily of the county for the seminars, but it will be invoiced for the monitoring program ‘when the time comes.’
Dilts said the council and commissioners deny any civil or criminal wrongdoing or liability and the county had been prepared to take the case through trial. He also said that, to his knowledge, no personal assets of the sheriff will be involved in the settlement.