Lake County officials settle job discrimination suit for undisclosed amount

2013-01-21T18:02:00Z 2013-01-22T00:14:03Z Lake County officials settle job discrimination suit for undisclosed amountBy Times Staff nwitimes.com
January 21, 2013 6:02 pm  • 

HAMMOND | Lake County officials have agreed to settle a job discrimination lawsuit filed by a former executive director of the sheriff's work release program, federal court records show.

Ronald Kurth sued former Sheriff Roy Dominguez, the Lake County Sheriff's Department, Lake County Grievance Board and Board of Commissioners in 2009, arguing his 2008 firing was done out of retaliation.

His lawsuit claimed he was fired for allowing an officer to attend a police union meeting — which Kurth was required by contract to allow the officer to do, according to the lawsuit.

Kurth also argued the county committed breach of contract, inflicted emotional distress and violated the Equal Pay Act because he was paid substantially less than his predecessors, Hammond federal court records state.

Kurth worked for the sheriff's department for more than 30 years, according to the lawsuit. He retired in 2005, then was immediately rehired to work in the sheriff's work-release program, court records state.

Kurth said he tried to appeal his termination to the county grievance board, but it dismissed his grievance, court records state.

The parties reached a settlement in September, according to federal court records. They filed a joint stipulated motion to dismiss the lawsuit Sunday.

Attorney John Kopack, who represented Lake County in the case, said Monday he could not provide the amount of the settlement because it was confidential.

County Attorney John Dull could not be reached for comment Monday regarding the settlement amount.

Kurth's attorney, Matthew Barrett, could not be reached Monday for comment.

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