Friday, January 29, 2016

City settles discrimination suit for $95K

Posted By on Fri, Jan 29, 2016 at 10:41 AM

  • Mike Gifford
The city of Colorado Springs has paid $95,000 to settle a lawsuit that alleged discrimination based on race.

Candice Zamora Bridgers filed the case in 2014 alleging she was pushed out to make way for a less qualified person — city chief financial officer Kara Skinner hired by former Mayor Steve Bach — because she gave supporting testimony on behalf of Terri Velasquez, who herself was forced out and later sued and settled for $250,000.

Read the background of the Bridgers and Velasquez cases here.

The Bridgers case is cited in yet another racial discrimination case filed by Amaro Montemayor, which we reported on here. All three former employees bringing suite noted here are represented by William Finger of Evergreen.

Here's the Bridgers settlement, which the Independent obtained through an open records request.

So to recap, the city has shelled out $345,000 in the last few years to make lawsuits alleging racial discrimination go away. That figure doesn't include any court costs, outside attorney fees, or staff time of city lawyers.
According to the City Attorney Office's most recent quarterly report, filed in November, the city is facing more than 20 claims filed by employees alleging gender discrimination, more than 10 alleging age discrimination, one alleging racial discrimination and five citing discrimination based on disability. Some employees cited more than one type of discrimination. Many of these allegations, however, will never make it to a lawsuit.

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