Bump pays $115,000 to settle suit
Claim brought by former top aide
STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE
STATE AUDITOR SUZANNE BUMP has settled a wrongful termination lawsuit brought by a former top aide who alleged that the Democrat fired her after she voiced concern over Bump conducting campaign activities out of her office and improperly mingling politics with office business.
Bump said she settled the suit with her former first deputy auditor, Laura Marlin, for $115,000. Marlin stands to receive $77,000 from the settlement, while the remaining $38,000 will go towards attorney fees.
“The court encouraged us strongly to mediate so we sat with a mediator in December and through that process reached this conclusion. We thought it made sense in terms of otherwise what the length, the duration of the litigation would be, the ultimate costs in terms of attorney’s fees and the disruption to the office,” Bump said.
Marlin claimed that Bump “hurled invectives” at her after she warned the auditor to stop conducting re-election activities out of her State House office, and questioned the political motivations behind Bump insisting that a union whose endorsement she was courting be consulted about an audit into the Department of Children and Families.Asked if she was admitting any guilt, Bump on Tuesday said, “No, absolutely not. We deny that either myself or anyone in the office retaliated against her for any alleged improper activities.”
The court has been notified of the settlement, and Bump intends to file for a dismissal of the lawsuit once Marlin has received payment. Funds to pay the settlement come from a statewide account used to pay settlements and judgments.