Local News

Springs settles lawsuit with former city employee

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The City of Colorado Springs and former city employee Terri Velasquez reached a final agreement Tuesday to resolve all claims the parties may have against one another. 

The city has agreed to pay Velasquez $250,000 to dismiss the lawsuit.  The money addresses outstanding disputes over back pay, attorney fees, Velasquez' termination from employment with the city and related transition issues, according to the city.

In August 2011, Velasquez said she wanted $1 million, plus legal fees, because she said she was fired for exposing misuse of city funds and because of gender discrimination.

Before she was fired, Velasquez found some city employees were being overpaid and notified the city auditor. That included then Fire Chief Steve Cox, who was paid an extra $5,000. Cox has since paid the money back. Velasquez says she also found that a $2 million grant from the El Pomar Foundation to the city wasn't being used appropriately. She said there were other ethical issues and financial improprieties.

Velasquez said city leaders weren't happy to hear about her concerns, and she was retaliated against and eventually fired.

The city released a statement in April 2012 saying they conducted an investigation into Velasquez' allegations and found no merit to the claims.

There was no admission of any wrongdoing or liability on the part of the city.

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