Former employee reaches settlement in suit against Madison County recorder of deeds

By Brian Brueggemann | Dec 7, 2018

A former Madison County employee who alleged she was wrongfully fired has reached a settlement in her lawsuit against Recorder of Deeds Amy Meyer.

Terms of the settlement were not disclosed in court filings, however, a Finance committee resolution presented to the County Board on Nov. 21 indicates a proposed settlement authorization of $50,000.

The former employee, Jackie Barlow, filed suit against Meyer and the county in May 2017, alleging that Meyer fired her for making a report to county officials about Meyer. Barlow reported that Meyer used illegal drugs, drove while impaired and used government resources for political purposes, the suit alleged. Meyer denied the allegations.

David A. Schott, who represents Meyer, and Michael Brunton, who represents Barlow, filed a joint notice last week in federal court in East St. Louis, saying the case had been “fully settled” in the days prior, but that the parties were “in the process of consummating the settlement.” Schott and Brunton did not immediately return calls from a reporter seeking comment.

Meyer, contacted Tuesday, referred questions to her lawyer, saying the settlement had not yet been finalized. “Until such time, I’m not at liberty to comment,” Meyer said.

Barlow’s suit, against Meyer and the county, first was filed in circuit court in Madison County, but it later was removed to federal court.

The recorder’s office mostly handles property records. Last month, Madison County voters approved a referendum for the consolidation of the recorder’s office with the county clerk’s office. The measure, which was opposed by Meyer, calls for the consolidation to take place by December 2020. The measure was backed by Republicans, who argued that consolidation would save at least $110,000 – the amount of Meyer’s salary.

Meyer, a Democrat, was first elected recorder in 2012, then ran unopposed in 2016.

Barlow’s suit alleged that she suffered loss of wages and benefits. She also alleged that her firing “arose under circumstances that seriously damage her reputation and her ability to obtain other employment.”

“False and stigmatizing statements were made in connection with the employee’s discharge in public, without a meaningful opportunity for Barlow to clear her name,” Barlow’s suit alleged.

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