SORRENTO — The Town Council agreed Tuesday to settle an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint the current town maintenance supervisor brought against the town government more than two years ago.
The 4-0 vote followed a brief closed session attended by four councilmen, Mayor Wilson Longanecker Jr., employee Cornelius Morris and his attorney as well as other town officials.
Councilman Marvin Martin was absent Tuesday.
Former Mayor Blake LeBlanc fired Morris in January 2010. Morris filed the EEOC complaint in June 2010 following his dismissal.
LeBlanc resigned in October 2010. The council rehired Morris in November 2010 and made him maintenance chief in May 2011.
The termination of Morris, who had worked for the town for nine years, sparked controversy at the time and claims from some council members that the firing was unjustified.
LeBlanc had alleged Morris did not cut grass in a timely manner and had worked unauthorized hours.
The EEOC is a federal agency that enforces federal anti-discrimination laws against job applicants or employees because of their race, religion, gender, national origin, disability or genetic information.
The terms of the settlement were not disclosed Tuesday during the council meeting.
But in interviews afterward, Longanecker and Councilman Randy Anny confirmed the settlement involves Morris’ pay for the period when he was not employed after his firing, plus Morris’ attorneys’ fees and any damages.
The total cost of the fees and that pay, which will be less any unemployment insurance that Morris received during that period, have not been determined yet, town officials said.
Longanecker said the settlement amount would be negotiated by attorneys for the town and Morris.
Anny said the EEOC had asked the town to try to resolve the matter with Morris before a full hearing by the commission.
Anny said the amount of the settlement would be made public.
Morris and his attorney, who declined to provide his name Tuesday, would not comment after the council vote.
Other business taken up by the council included:
FINANCIAL AFFAIRS: The council voted 4-0 to pay $39,440 in bills for September.
The largest three single costs for September were with Ford Motor Credit Co. at $15,609, legal fees to the town attorneys at $8,625, and fees to town financial adviser Faulk and Winkler LLC at $3,905, a town listing says.
The council deferred revising its policies and procedures ordinance pending a Finance Committee meeting. A date for that meeting has not been set yet.