The Litigation Boutique LLC

Wrongful termination suit against Colorado Springs is settled

When employees here in the state of Colorado believe that they were fired from their current position for reasons that violate company policy or which are entirely illegal, he or she may pursue a wrongful termination lawsuit to seek the justice they need and deserve.

Interestingly, a former high-ranking official for the city of Colorado Springs recently reached a settlement in her own wrongful termination lawsuit, which alleged multiple forms of discrimination.

Terry Velasquez, the finance director for the city of Colorado Springs, was terminated from her position back in 2011 by the chief of staff of then Mayor Steve Bach. Shortly after she was discharged from her employment, she filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against the city that made some rather shocking allegations.

Specifically, her lawsuit accused the city of the following:

  • Firing her for uncovering evidence that money from the El Pomar Foundation allocated for the U.S. Olympic Committee retention agreement back in 2008 was mishandled
  • Firing her for uncovering evidence that multiple city officials were being overpaid
  • Gender discrimination
  • Age discrimination

The city originally responded to Velasquez's claims by conducting an investigation -- at a cost of $65,000 -- to determine if there was indeed any malfeasance or problematic conduct. Ultimately, it released a statement indicating that nothing suspect had been uncovered during the course of the investigation.

In recent developments, it appears as if the entire matter officially came to a close last week after the city and Velasquez agreed to a $250,000 settlement, which was subsequently approved by the federal court. Here, the settlement funds were to cover back pay, attorney fees, transitional costs and the termination itself.

"The parties mutually agreed that a final settlement would be in the best interest of both parties, allowing them to move forward along separate paths. There was no admission of any wrongdoing or liability on the part of the City," read a statement from Colorado Springs.

Sources: The Denver Channel, "City of Colorado Springs settles wrongful termination lawsuit with former employee," Phil Tenser, April 10, 2013; The Colorado Springs Independent, "Terri Velasquez gets payoff from city," Pam Zubeck, April 10, 2013

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