The City of Sun Valley received word this week that it’s insurance carrier, ICRMP, has settled and paid former City Clerk Kelly Ek to resolve her claims against former City Administrator Sharon R. Hammer and Former Mayor Wayne Willich for their actions against her.
Please see the details below in the formal press release issued by the City on June 11, 2012.
FROM: Mayor Dewayne Briscoe, City of Sun Valley
DATE: June 11, 2012
Re: Sun Valley’s City Clerk Tort Claim Notice Settled
On April 20, 2012, City Clerk Kelly Ek filed a tort claim notice alleging that, “Ms. Hammer (City Administrator) and Mayor Willich retaliated against Ms. Ek both directly by their offensive behaviors as well as disparaging her to fellow employees.” Ms. Ek’s tort claim notice cited a violation of Idaho’s “Whistle Blower” statute and other federal and state protections.
The tort claim notice included that “Ms. Hammer and Mayor Willich, in an effort to discredit Ms. Ek’s position, influenced Ms. Ek’s co-workers to criticize, shun, disrespect, and reject Ms. Ek’s effort in carrying out her responsibilities as City Clerk.” The tort claims the “malicious and unfounded retaliation” was a result of Ms. Ek bringing matters to the attention of the City Council concerning Ms. Hammer’s administration, which “violated her position of authority as Sun Valley City Administrator.”
The City of Sun Valley’s liability insurance carrier Idaho Counties Risk Management Program (ICRMP) provided coverage for the tort claim notice. The Mayor and City Council were not parties to the negotiation and had no role in the settlement.
ICRMP has reported to the City that it has resolved all claims relating to this tort claim notice. ICRMP will pay Ms. Ek $65,000, plus $7,000 for attorney’s fees to resolve the matter. Ms. Ek tendered her resignation, effective June 8, 2012, which Mayor Briscoe has accepted.
Mayor Briscoe, informed of the resolution, stated:
This is another step in resolving the difficult issues, which were brought to City Council and me just after the November 5th election. It is my responsibility with City Council to guarantee to our citizens that all City officials and employees consistently meet the highest standard of integrity and comply with federal and Idaho state laws. We will continue in this endeavor as ongoing issues are resolved in the months ahead.