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Holdout in settlement identified

January 03, 2004

Deirdre Newman

Deputy City Atty. Marianne Milligan is the only defendant who has not

signed off on a settlement agreement the city reached with former

City Atty. Jerry Scheer in October.

Attorneys representing Scheer and the city have conflicting

opinions on whether this has delayed the agreement from being

finalized.

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In mid-December, Scheer refiled his complaint against the city,

which essentially negates the settlement and restarts the process of

suing the city. Scheer's attorney, Dan Stormer, said his client was

tired of waiting for all the defendants to sign off on the deal. That

agreement was poised to cap more than two years of troubles that

Scheer had had with the city starting in July 2001 when Milligan --

then known as Marianne Reger -- made a written complaint against him

containing a number of accusations.

Milligan said she hasn't signed off on the agreement because doing

so would prevent her from filing claims against the city or Scheer in

the future.

"I may have potential claims against the city," Milligan said.

The lawsuit, filed by Scheer in September, makes 29 complaints

against the defendants, including violation of the Family and Medical

Leave Act, slander, libel and retaliation. Besides Milligan, the

defendants named are Mayor Gary Monahan, Councilwoman Libby Cowan and

former Councilwomen Karen Robinson and Linda Dixon.

Monahan and Cowan signed the settlement agreement in late October.

In November, Stormer and Peter Brown, who represents the city,

worked out an arrangement with Robinson and Dixon to remove them as

defendants from the lawsuit in exchange for letters from them waiving

their claims against Scheer, Brown said Friday.

That left Reger as the only defendant who hadn't signed the

agreement.

But Brown and Stormer disagree as to how much of an obstacle that

has been to finalizing the settlement agreement.

Stormer said her reluctance is the main reason why Scheer decided

to restart his lawsuit. And because of the delay, it will now cost

the city more than the $750,000 agreed upon in the original

settlement to prevent a trial, Stormer said.

"First, they agree to a settlement ... then when one of their

employees refuses to sign, they squirrel around rather than be up

front about it," Stormer said.

But Brown contends that Milligan's refusal to sign the agreement

is not the main roadblock.

He blames it instead on Scheer and Stormer for not making

available Scheer's medical report to submit to the Workers

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