The City of Williams Lake has agreed to pay former finance director Candie Laporte $15,000 in a settlement following a human rights claim she filed against the city in May 2011.
Laporte, according to a city news release, had alleged discrimination on the basis of sex in respect of wages.
“The City strongly felt that it had not breached the Human Rights Code,” the release says, adding the parties agreed to attend a mediation with the Tribunal on Jan. 24, 2012, to see if there was a way to resolve the complaint without proceeding any further with the complaint. In doing so, the parties were successful and resolved the complaint.
“The resulting settlement was an economic and practical resolution of the complaint and it did not constitute any admission of wrongdoing, liability, blame, or lack of confidence in the merits of its case by the city,” the release says. “In agreeing to settle, the city recognized that the costs to defend this complaint, even if it was successful, was going to be much larger than the sum to be paid to Ms. Laporte.”
The city says it felt that it was more responsible to the taxpayers to resolve the complaint at mediation rather than paying the city’s lawyers to defend the complaint even though it was confident the complaint would be dismissed.
“In return for Ms. Laporte agreeing to withdraw her complaint and release the city from any further claims or actions, the city made a business decision to pay $15,000 to Ms. Laporte.”
The settlement was made public at Tuesday night’s city council meeting.