published Thursday, January 31st, 2013

Hamilton County votes to pay $45,000 to settle lawsuit against Bill Hullander

Hamilton County commissioners unanimously voted this morning to spend $45,000 to settle a wrongful termination lawsuit filed against the county and County Trustee Bill Hullander.

Former county employee Lisa Crane filed a federal lawsuit against Hullander in August 2011, claiming that Hullander told her that she "did not 'fit' his 'reorganization' for the office" before he took the trustee position in September 2010, according to newspaper archives. She further claimed that Hullander said he was removing employees who had been hired by former trustee Carl Levi, who lost re-election to Hullander in 2010.

But Hullander said he kept several of Levi’s former employees, and chose to remove others in the wake of a federal investigation into whether the office mishandled bankruptcy filings, which began during Levi’s term.

In the county resolution outlining the settlement, Hullander and the county deny Crane's allegations and "assert that Ms. Crane's termination was for just cause."

The suit had sought to reinstate Crane to her former position or an equivalent job. Crane also requests that the county compensate her for "humiliation and embarrassment" but did not specify an amount.

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