A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit filed by a former Madison County employee who alleged she was wrongfully fired by Recorder of Deeds Amy Meyer.
U.S. District Judge J. Phil Gilbert on Thursday approved a settlement in the suit. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed in court filings, but county officials said the total settlement was for $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 in federal court in November, informing the judge that the case had been “fully settled” in the days prior, but that the parties were “in the process of consummating the settlement.” Schott declined comment Friday, and Brunton did not immediately return a call seeking comment. County officials said half of the settlement was paid to Brunton, the lawyer for Barlow, for legal fees.
Meyer could not immediately be reached for comment Friday.
The recorder’s office mostly handles property records. In November, 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.