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City manager: Officials will be notified of settlement agreements

Councilmembers unaware of settlement with ex-chief
Posted: 5:30 PM, Jan 03, 2017
Updated: 2017-01-04 01:12:26-05
City manager: Officials will be notified of settlement agreements

CINCINNATI -- Lawsuits settled by the city won't be kept secret again, according to a memo from the city manager.

City Manager Harry Black wrote that he has informed the city solicitor to inform the mayor and city council at least once a month of any settlement agreements finalized by the city administration for more than $5,000.

The move came after several council members expressed surprise at the recent news that the city had settled with former Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell for more than $250,000 last August after Blackwell provided the city with a draft of a potential lawsuit.

"Several times I inquired whether there was going to be a settlement," Vice Mayor David Mann said last week. "I was told directly by the city manager that there will not be a settlement. Having asked that, I would have expected to be told when that position was changed, but I wasn't."

 

The agreement with Blackwell, along with emails between Mayor John Cranley and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, even prompted some officials to call for an investigation into what role Cranley played in Blackwell's dismissal.

Cranley and Black have denied that the mayor had any role in Blackwell's firing.

Councilmember Wendell Young released a statement Tuesday saying his motion for an investigation was voted down by the Budget and Finance Committee.