Canine officers will split $185,000 from settlement

2012-05-15T18:15:00Z Canine officers will split $185,000 from settlementBy Joyce Russell joyce.russell@nwi.com, (219) 762-1397, ext. 2222 nwitimes.com

PORTAGE | The Board of Works this week gave its approval to the settling of a lawsuit against Portage by three of the police department's canine officers.

With that board's approval, City Attorney Gregg Sobkowski released details of the settlement.

The officers will receive $185,000 in compensation spread over three installments this year and in 2013. The settlement covers damages and attorney fees.

Portage officers Chris Kobitz, Bill Smith and Roger Peele brought a lawsuit against the city last year claiming they were owed overtime compensation under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act for taking care of the police dogs.

The city settled out of court with two other officers last year.

City officials determined it would be more financially responsible to settle with the officers than to take the matter to trial.

The settlement was also approved by Portage's Advisory Claims Committee and City Council.

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