Youngstown settles sexual harassment suit

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Youngstown City Council has signed off on a settlement agreement with a former city employee over sexual harassment charges.

Council on Wednesday night approved payment of a $50,000 deductible to the city’s insurance company. That money will come from money set aside for such settlements in the law department’s budget, which is part of the general fund.

The deductible is part of a $120,000 settlement between the city and Lyndsey Hughes, the former director of downtown events, special projects and marketing.

The settlement shows Hughes will get two $36,000 checks for a total of $72,000. Her attorneys will be paid $48,000.

“It is not unusual in settlement agreements for attorneys to have a portion as their fee,” said Youngstown Law Director Martin Hume.

Hughes also agrees to drop any and all pending claims with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission, according to the settlement agreement.

In October, Hughes filed sexual harassment claims against then-Mayor Charles Sammarone and his Chief of Staff, DeMaine Kitchen, who was defeated in the mayoral race by John McNally. A report requested by the city in December upheld Hughes’ claims.

The settlement states Hughes agreed to end her employment with the city effective May 21 and she cannot seek re-employment. Council is discussing how to fill her position, but Mayor McNally feels the next person should report directly to him.

“Right now, that position reports to City Council. I think it’s tough to report to seven people. But we have been helping City Council through the past couple months in getting events scheduled and dealing with vendors and downtown activities that are scheduled,” McNally said.

McNally said Hughes was a good employee for the downtown events and marketing position and the main goal now should be to make sure they have as many downtown activities scheduled all year round, and to put this harassment case behind them.

Council President Chuck Sammarone declined comment. Our repeated attempts to contact Hughes went unanswered.

 

 

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