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Arroyo Grande settles a sexual harassment suit 

A civil lawsuit filed in 2012 against the city of Arroyo Grande and its chief of police, Steve Annibali, has vanished with the waving of a checkbook. In a mediated settlement agreement signed Jan. 16, the city agreed to pay $162,500 to former senior officer Kimberly Martin; during a Feb. 12 closed session meeting, she formally released the city and Annibali from any and all current or future liabilities and dropped her case, which alleged that Annibali had unfairly discriminated against her because she was female, swept sexual harassment claims under the rug, refused to recognize a valid work injury, and retaliated against her for complaining.

The terms of the settlement were made public on Feb. 15, but a stipulation of the agreement bars either party from speaking to the press, except to say that they’ve “reached a mutually satisfying resolution through settlement.”

According to the agreement, Martin’s payment will be characterized as a personal physical injury payment, and the city clearly states that cutting the check doesn’t amount to an admission of wrongdoing.

A similar lawsuit filed by another female officer remains open.

While accepting the deal prevents Martin from seeking any more money from Arroyo Grande, the City Council recently authorized a resolution acknowledging that she was permanently injured while on the job and will no longer be able to perform the duties of a police officer. That recognition allows her to retire early and collect disability benefits from the state.

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