Here is the latest update on the suit filed against the City of Sun Valley, myself, fellow Council member Bob Youngman, and City Attorney Adam King by City Administrator Sharon Hammer.
On Monday, January 16, 2012, following an inquiry from the press, I issued the statement below in response to their question about the withdrawal of the Hammer lawsuit:
I want to thank all of my friends and supporters who stood by me during these rather difficult past two months. The dismissal of the Sharon R. Hammer lawsuit and the investigative report that has cleared me of the accusations raised by Ms. Hammer are clear affirmations of the fact that I never harassed or threatened anyone in my role as city councilman. I was asked by two Sun Valley City officials to bring before the council evidence of questionable practices by Ms. Hammer and I did so. The charges made against me were an obvious smoke screen designed to divert attention from legitimate inquiry into certain financial practices at city hall during the last administration. I don’t doubt that the chicanery and wild antics of Ms. Hammer and her husband will continue for some time to come but I am pleased that the public will soon have an opportunity to judge Ms. Hammer’s conduct for themselves.
Also on Monday, January 16, 2012, the City of Sun Valley issued the following press release regarding the withdrawal of the Hammer lawsuit:
The day after a contested court hearing, including motions to stop Plaintiff’s harassing discovery requests and sanction Attorney James Donoval, Sharon Hammer voluntarily dismissed her lawsuit against the City of Sun Valley, Councilman Nils Ribi, City Attorney Adam King and Councilman Robert Youngman. Ms. Hammer’s two other lawsuits against the City of Sun Valley are still active.
City of Sun Valley officials are glad to see that this unfounded lawsuit has been dismissed. While their counsel, Kirtlan Naylor, communicated all settlement offers by Ms. Hammer to the City, this resolution of a voluntary dismissal by Hammer is the appropriate action.
At no time did the City’s insurer, ICRMP, threaten that legal counsel or insurance coverage for the City was in jeopardy, contrary to allegations by Hammer.
Mr. Naylor stated in court at the hearing, held January 11, that the City’s investigative report, which has been the subject of much discussion in the news and court filings, has been turned over to the Blaine County Prosecuting Attorney for an independent review of possible criminal conduct. For that reason, it cannot be released for public consideration at this time.
The City of Sun Valley appreciates the patience of its citizens as appropriate steps are taken in this matter. Mayor Briscoe is committed to ensuring a strong and effective administration to conduct the business of the City. The dismissal of this lawsuit will allow the administration to now focus on the governing of the City and providing appropriate services to the citizens of Sun Valley.