Sorrento council settles police officer’s claims

The Sorrento Town Council unanimously approved a financial settlement with town police Officer Cathy Gil over her allegations of discrimination and harassment while under Police Chief Earl Theriot’s supervision.

The threat of litigation by a second police officer remains, Town Attorney Donovan Hudson told the Town Council during a meeting Tuesday.

Hudson, Mayor Wilson Longanecker Jr. and the council held a 15-minute executive session during the meeting to discuss Gil’s settlement and the claims of former police Officer Tige Scott.

When the regular meeting resumed, Hudson said the councilmen had agreed to a mediated settlement and “will appropriate the funds for the settlement.”

Councilmen Milton “Needlenose” Vicknair, John Wright, Marvin Martin and Randy Anny voted to approve the settlement.

Councilman Jason Adams did not attend the meeting.

Scott, Gil and former police Officer Kermit Givens threatened to sue over Theriot’s “sexual and racial discrimination and harassment claims and retaliatory employee claims,” the officers alleged at a Town Council meeting in November.

Scott and Givens have both resigned from the department.

Givens’ allegations were not mentioned during Tuesday’s meeting.

Longanecker and Hudson would not disclose the terms of the settlement and Gil declined comment after the meeting.

Other business coming before the council included:

DELINQUENT BILLS: The council agreed to have Vicknair meet with Hudson and the town clerks to develop a plan to collect thousands of dollars in delinquent garbage and sewer bills.

The issue of delinquent garbage and sewer fees was one of several deficiencies turned up by an audit of the town’s 2011-12 financial records.

The audit, performed by the Postlethwaite & Netterville accounting firm, said the town issued about $455,000 in fines and court fees during the fiscal year, but collected only about $342,000 of that amount. The audit further said the town was unable to “effectively monitor” and lacked “adequate oversight” of the collection efforts.

Hudson recommended the town look into hiring a company that specialized in tracking down delinquent customers.